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Portable Float Tank For Downer Cattle 
“I started selling Float-a-Cow mobile tanks in 1994 as a sideline to my dairy business and I’m still at it today because it’s a worthwhile venture that can save downer cattle,” says Pennsylvania farmer Leroy Martin. “The units I sell now resist corrosion because they have stainless steel flooring and an aluminum door. Even though they’re lighter weight than the first all-steel units, they’re still plenty strong enough to hold 750 gals. of water and a cow that weighs a thousand pounds or more.” 
The Float-A-Cow portable tank is about 4-ft. wide, 8-ft. long and about 4 1/2-ft. tall. The front panel is slightly shorter and has a feed trough so the cow can eat and drink while being rehabbed in the water. The unit is transported on two wheels with a tongue hitch that’s held in place by two pins during transport. When the pins are removed the tank rests on the ground, the wheels pivot free, and the hitch raises above the tank. 
     Martin says that a winch on the front of the tank is used to pull a mat into the tank while the downer animal is laying on it. “It’s important to move the downer animal as gently and humanely as possible, and this system does that,”  he adds. With the mat and animal in the tank, warm water that’s 90 to 95 degrees F is slowly added.
    “Cows that will recover usually stand within a few hours as the warm water regenerates their leg muscles,” Martin says. “We recommend that they stay in the tank about 8 to 10 hrs. until they’re standing freely and are able to get their strength back.” Martin adds that if an animal doesn’t stand within a few hours, it’s probably not going to recover. 
    Over the years Martin has sold units in several states and will ship them anywhere, including the far western and southwestern U.S. The price is $7,500 plus shipping.
    “A larger dairy operation can usually pay for this tank in a year or two by saving downer cows that might otherwise not make it,” Martin says. “I’ve also had customers buy a tank and have it available for rent in an area that has several dairies nearby.”  
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lee-Mar Farm, 2724 Conestoga Creek Rd., Morgantown, Penn. (ph 610 286-9052; leroymartin1954@gmail.com)

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5