Tails may be a useful appendage for cows but the bovine lifestyle means they become soiled with unpleasant, smelly, abrasive material which is frequently transferred to the unwary herdsman.

One new solution to come from New Zealand is a powered tail trimmer which removes all the long hair from a cow’s tail.

Marketed by Northern Ireland-based Agrihealth, the Tailwell2 with its rotary cutter attaches to the chuck of a standard 14V cordless drill. A torque bar links back to the drill to hold the cutter still.

In action, the drill’s rotating cutter slides on to the tail stump and removes all long hair as it is slid up the tail.

The hostile working conditions mean that regular lubrication is essential – every 30 to 50 tails, or more frequently if the tails have sand in them.

For safety, the inner cutter does not move and the cutting action comes from the 18° oscillation of the outer cutter. After about 300 cows, the cutters usually need to be sharpened, and for this, they need to be returned to Agrihealth – the metal used is deemed too hard for hand sharpening. Price of the Tailwell2 is £265.

For more on this topic

See our Livestock 2012  event page