1984 - Volume #8, Issue #3, Page #33[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
New Style Crate Tilts Sows On Their Side
"Hog farmers will buy one or two of the cradles for their entire herd to handle and position hogs that need operations or need to be off their feet. We think the crate will also be popular with veterinarians," says designer Dennis Bray, Tecumseh, Okla., noting that vets could put one of the cradles on a trailer and pull it from farm to farm for use in operating on hogs, whether it's a C-section or an injured leg. Use isn't confined to sows as you can also put boars, barrows and gilts in the cradle, whether it be for confinement or to tip them on their side.
To lay a hog out flat, you simply tilt the crate 90? using the 1/15-hp. electric motor which slowly turns the crate and the animal on its side. You let the animal up to eat and drink as her condition dictates. By removing the ęstops' you can tilt the hog up to 120? for operations or observation.
Unlike trimming chutes, which also let you tip the hog, the cradle is designed for supporting the hog for long periods of time and to let baby pigs nurse off the recuperating sow.
Baby pigs stay in a basket that sits directly under the sow when she's in the standing position. However, when the crate is turned, the basket turns so the baby pigs ride around the circle with the sow so they can nurse the sow as she lies on her side.
Bray says you can even leave the sow in the crate with the babies nursing in this arrangement until they're ready to wean.
To contain the hog in the crate as it turns, you place a harness around the hog to keep it from moving and possibly injuring itself. The animal stands on two, 10-in. long platforms. Nylon leg ęboots', connected with straps across the hog's back, are fastened to the crate to keep the hog from moving off the stands.
A metal tubing bracket fits over the top of the animal and adjusts for the hog's length and height to keep the animal positioned in the crate.
Crate width adjusts from 12 to 24 in. You can also use the crate as a
conventional farrowing crate.
The Bray Hog Cradle sells for $1,195, complete with the motor and harness.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bray's Mfg., Co., P.O. Box 648, Tecumseh, Old. 74873.
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