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Calf-Hauling Crate Built For ATV
“I work cattle alone on my ranch, so when cows have calves in different places in the corral it’s tough to get the Mamma and the baby into the barn by myself. So I built a ‘Critter Cage’ to haul calves into the barn with my ATV,” says North Dakota cattleman Elliot Iszler.
    Iszler’s Critter Cage is about 2 ft. wide, just over 4 ft. long and about 3 ft. high. One end has a door with an opening on top large enough for a calf’s head to look through. The frame is made of 1-in. tubing and Iszler has metal on the floor and 2 ft. high on the sides so a baby calf’s legs don’t get caught in the metal frame. A metal tube extends out from one side of the portable pen and slips into the receiver hitch of an ATV or a pickup. He makes adapters so the device will work on different size receivers.
    “I realized when I built my first one that the mamma cow needed to see her calf when I was transporting it into the barn,” Iszler says. “As soon as I get the little one loaded, I let the cow see that the calf is okay, and off we go. I drive into my barn, make a swing around the pen and the mamma cow is right behind me.”
    Iszler says the Critter Cage is also protection for the rancher who works cows and calves alone. “I’ve been head-butted while carrying calves on foot, I’ve been chased when I held them while driving my 4-wheeler, and I’ve been thoroughly ‘bawled out’ when I’ve put a calf in a pickup so the cow couldn’t see it. Having a secure place to carry a calf into the barn has been a real benefit for me. I can also keep the calf in the carrier to give it an ear tag and shots, jobs that I used to do just by holding a calf by hand.”
    He says the added weight on the back of the ATV isn’t a problem because the cage only weighs about 60 lbs and a calf is usually about the same. Iszler says if a rancher thinks that’s too much weight he should add ballast in the front basket of his ATV to even up the load.
    “I spent a couple years working on the design and I’m really satisfied with the way it turned out,” Iszler says. “I’ve got a few dealers handling the product in a 100-mile radius of Bismarck and might have interest from others further away if I promoted it some.” Iszler builds the Critter Cages himself in his shop and says if someone is interested they should give him a call. The Critter Cage sells for $369.
     Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Elliot Iszler, 2921 Arizona Dr., Bismarck, N. Dak. 58503 (ph 406 580-6400).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #3