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“Catcher” Helps Work Calves On Pasture
Investing in a Calf-Catcher may seem like a luxury to many beef producers. But Ted Lacey, who designed it, contends it’s much less expensive than $50,000 in medical bills. Nine years ago, the Trent, S.D., rancher was working with a newborn calf and ended up rammed and stepped on by its mother. Initially, he was treated for compressed disks and a numb arm, but later dealt with pain that led to spinal fusion surgery.
Within 4 mos. of the incident, Lacey created a calf catcher out of scrap material. Now he and his son, Andy, build them at their business, The Hay Manager, which specializes in hay feeders, including a new one designed for goats.
With a quick-attach mount, the Calf-Catcher works with a skid steer loader or 3-pt. hitch and is designed to drop down over a newborn calf. Once it is inside, the producer can move into the 5 by 6-ft. box and let down the Marine-grade plywood floor to vaccinate, tag and castrate the calf or move it.
“The nice thing is that when you have the calf in the pen the mother will follow wherever you go,” Lacey says. So, they often load a few calves in the Calf-Catcher and move it to a nearby pasture with the mother cows following.
It’s built out of square tubing on a 1/4-in. angle iron frame. At 66-in. tall, including the legs, it’s tall enough to protect you when you’re inside. A door on the front can be opened to release the calf by pulling a cable from the back of the pen.
Calf-Catcher retails for about $1,500.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, The Hay Manager, 47802 240th St., Trent, S.D. 57065 (ph 605 633-0038; thehaymanager@gmail.com; www.thehaymanager.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5