Cork teenager CJ Bryan has designed a movable calf crush which can allow suckler and dairy farmers to tag, dose, inject, dehorn, transport and feed calves.
CJ, a student at Hamilton High School, Bandon, Co Cork, says the calf crush will also improve the health and safety of both the farmer and the animal.
“I noticed a lot of farmers struggling to move newborn calves and ending up lifting and transporting the calf in a wheelbarrow. This is not safe for the calf or the farmer and can lead to a lot of stress, both mentally and physically, for all concerned,” he said.
The Kilbrittain teen came up with the crush concept while working with his dairy-farming grandfather, John Bryan. The crush’s construction became a “family affair”, said CJ, who was aided by his father James and uncles Kenneth and David.
The crush was showcased by CJ at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition in Dublin last week.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, CJ said his metal crush model is “more efficient and safer” for all tasks involved in calf management.
One of the model’s main benefits is that it is on wheels, allowing a farmer to constrain and transport calves safely, he highlighted.
The crush has an adjustable head restraint and a side gate which can be opened for all necessary calf vaccinations and injections.
CJ described how he has tested the prototype with neighbouring farmers and said that all had positive feedback.
“It makes it a safer working environment in the farming industry during the busy calving season. Happier farmers and calves, less stress.
“It has everything, all in one go, everything for the calf,” he said.
The Cork youth suggested that the crush could be used by farmers across Ireland and said there has been an expression of interest from one local co-op to manufacture and market it further.