2020 - Volume #44, Issue #4, Page #17[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
12-Volt DC-Powered “Goat Lift”
Johnson owns a large herd of goats and uses the lift to administer dewormer medications, tetanus shots, and ear tagging. “It saves a lot of time and labor compared to trying to catch and hold each animal,” he says. “I came up with the idea because I’m 71 years old and can’t do a lot of heavy lifting anymore, and I wanted to make the work easier on my helpers.”
The lift measures 10 ft. long by 2 ft. wide and has a sliding gate at each end. It’s designed to hold 5 adult goats at a time, or up to 15 smaller animals. The heart of the lift is a chute with a self-contained metal “pipe floor” made from a series of 1 1/2-in. dia. metal pipes spaced 6 in. apart. Both ends of the floor are chained to horizontal metal bars, with each bar raised or lowered by a remote-controlled, 12-volt DC winch. A single remote is used to control both winches.
“We place 2 chutes with gates end to end in front of the lift, in order to ‘feed’ the animals into the lift,” says Johnson. “While the goats are being treated, more goats are herded into the chutes so there’s no waiting for the next batch.
“Once the sliding gate is opened the goats walk the length of the chute, and once the chute is full I raise the pipe floor off the ground. The animals are lifted evenly on their bellies, with their legs protruding between the pipes. At this point they’re bewildered enough that they almost ‘freeze’ while the vet tech injects and drenches them, and then I follow up by applying ear tags, if necessary. Occasionally a young, frisky goat might try to climb out of the chute, but it’s very difficult to do because once their hooves are off the floor they have no leverage to get away.”
An electric-operated goat lift offers several advantages, says Johnson. “We don’t have to fight with the goats as we work on them, and we can work on more than one animal at a time so the work goes fast. All the pipes are chained together, so they can’t spread far enough apart for the entire animal to fall through between them.”
He says he tried to design the lift as simple as possible, which required a lot of thought before the construction process began. “I spent as much time sitting in my shop rocking chair, trying to develop the idea in my head, as I did building the lift. I didn’t want to have to make too many changes later on and do a lot more cutting and welding,” says Johnson.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lee Johnson, 4036 Hayward Lane, Richburg, S.C. 29729 (ph 803 517-4131; email@example.com).
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