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"Swim Noodle" Calf Sling
If you raise cattle long enough, you'll have to deal with "downer" calves who, for one reason or another, can't stand up properly on their own. To help the calves, Ron Aitken figured out how to use a noodle-type swim toy to hold them up.
  He cut a 5-ft. long noodle in half and inserted a rope through the hole in both of the half tubes. Then he slid short lengths of PVC pipe over each rope and into the fun noodle, just far enough to prevent the stress of the rope from ripping through the end of the noodle. The rope ends were then suspended from overhead hooks. A pair of rope-type tie-down devices were inserted between the rope ends of the slings and the overhead hooks, allowing Aitken to raise and lower the sling to suit the size of each calf. The tie-downs (available at any home improvement center) have a friction cam that allows the rope's length to be adjusted, and then hold the rope in one place when under load.
  "It's an inexpensive solution to the problem," says Aitken. "The fun noodle distributes the weight of the calf across a softer and wider area than a bare rope, and it has no sharp or narrow edges to cut into the calf's hide. Over time, the sling can be lowered to encourage the calf to bear more and more of its own weight."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ron Aitken, 488 Wild River Drive, Roseburg, Oregon 97470 (ph 541 496-3309; raitken@dcwisp.net).

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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #4