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Calf Catcher Made From Old Truck Rack
South Dakota rancher Todd Pieper was tagging calves the old fashioned way, wrangling them by hand. “That’s when a mama cow decided she didn’t like having me around and gave me a helluva head butt. I ended up with a couple broken ribs and decided right then I needed a better way to work those calves,” he says.
    Pieper found it when a friend of his bought an old pickup that had a well-used stock rack in the bed that he didn’t want. Pieper bought the rack for $50 and figured out a way he could carry it with his skid steer.
    “The rack was really flimsy when I got it out of the truck, so I bolted angle irons into all 4 corners to stabilize it,” Pieper says. “I also extended the sides down to the ground where the rack had lapped over the pickup wheel well. I bolted an old tool box from a silage cutter on one side to carry the supplies I need and when I was done, the rack was a fairly rigid 6-ft. wide by 8-ft. long rectangle with the gate at one end.”
    Pieper bolted a universal skid steer mounting plate to the gated end of the rack so he could easily lift and maneuver it. “During calving time I drive out in the pasture with the rack early in the morning and look for new calves. I can lower the rack over the calf without creating much commotion because the cows are used to me hauling bales with the skid steer. Once I’ve got a calf corralled I just pop out of the seat, over the gate and into the rack so I can vaccinate, tag and band the calf without interference from the Momma. Usually she’s right outside the rack, so I even know what number to put on the calf’s tag.”
    After he’s back in the skid steer he raises the rack and Pieper says “the calf walks away like nothing happened. I get the work done without getting bumped, bruised or beat up. It’s a cheap and simple outfit that cost me about $150 and I built it in one afternoon. I use it a lot because I’ve got 200 stock cows that calve every spring.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Todd Pieper, 16121 451st Ave., Watertown, S. Dak. 57201 (ph 605 886-0881).

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2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4