There is a range of livestock handling equipment on show at the Ploughing. Here, we take a brief look at what’s available.
The Cow Pow moving feed barrier from O’Donovan Engineering was on display. The barrier can move forward as cows eat the fodder in front of them. The idea is that there is less pushing and management of fodder in front of housed cattle.
O'Donovan Engineering's Cow Pow feed barrier.
O’Donovan Engineering says that the barrier is a good labour-saving tool and claims it can save farmers up to 70% feeding time over conventional barriers. It is particularly useful in narrow passageways.
The company says there are a lot of barriers now being exported to Iceland where cows stay indoors for long periods. The approximate cost per bay is €1,800.
According to O’Donovan Engineering, the Saber draft is popular as a retrofit option for existing dairy parlours. There are two-way and three-way systems available.
The Saber drafter unit from O'Donovan Engineering.
The Saber system works off EID tags and drafts can be scheduled using a phone or tablet. The three-way system costs approximately €13,000 excluding VAT, while the two-way system costs €11,000 excluding VAT.
Condon Engineering has a smaller version of its handling unit on display. It says fixed handling units have become popular since TAMS II was launched.
The handling units have a circular entrance to the cattle race and a non-return forcing gate, which makes it easier and safer for one person to handle cattle.
Prices vary depending on size but a standard pen and crush costs approximately €7,000 excluding VAT.
Condon Engineering's supreme handling crate.
Condon Engineering also has the cow supreme handling unit, which allows the farmer to immobilise cattle to make handling safer and easier. It costs €4,200 excluding VAT with weigh scales.
Gibney Steel Products
Gibney Steel Products has its mobile handling unit on show at its stand. The company says the hurdles that make up the race and penning have a hot dipped galvanised finish.
Gibney Steel Products has a steel livestock handling unit on display.
Gibney Steel Products says that farmers with rented land and out farms find the handling unit useful because it can be moved around without major fuss. A unit costs approximately €45/m.
The company also does a headscoop that is operated using a winch that gives the operator more power to raise an animal's head. It says it can be let down quickly, if necessary.
The Gibney Steel Products headscoop.