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Portable Pen Makes Calving Easier
Calving season went much smoother this year for Alberta cattleman John Breadon thanks to his cattle catching cage which makes it easy for him to put a temporary pen around any animal.
Carried on his front end loader by grabber forks, the "calf nabber" pen puts little stress on the animal since it no longer has to be chased to a central cattle handling facility or caught with a rope.
If a cow is having trouble calving, the "calf nabber" can be used as an "instant maternity pen" where pullers can be used without her running away in fear. Sick cows can also be treated quickly without the stress of being moved and, most importantly, young calves can be worked on with little fuss or commotion to the rest of the herd.
Breadon used his invention on more than 100 calves this year for ear tagging and to give shots. If the mother cow is too mean or too overprotective, the cage serves as a safety shield to keep Breadon out of harm's way as he works on the calf.
"With a bad cow, you almost need someone watching her and then you're still trying to hold the calf and get out all your medicine and tools," Breadon says, noting that now he can easily handle problem situations alone.
The cage is 8 by 10-ft. in size and made from 2 3/8-in. steel tubing. Sides are 5 ft. high and there's a canvas sling built into one end with holes in it where he can set a calf to work on it. Breadon can also use the calf nabber as a bale feeder, which is what he originally built it for.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Breadon, Highridge, Alberta.

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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #4