The influence of US stock handling techniques was evident at the Royal Highland Show exhibits of British cattle crush manufacturers, whose latest models combine the squeeze panel method of securing animals with the simplicity and easy access of traditional UK designs.
Operator safety is one of the key objectives of the new crushes and the gentle squeezing action provided by moving the sides in by a hand- or electrically-powered pump tends to discourage cattle from struggling or kicking.
Lively cattle can be secured at arm’s length using the remotely controlled hydraulic squeeze crush designed by stock handling specialist, Gordon Wilson, of Glendale Engineering (pictured).
The new device costs a fair bit more than a conventional crush, says Mr Wilson, but provides safer and more efficient handling.
“An operator can use the hand-held radio remote control to close or release the head clamp and move the side panels in and out from any position around the crush,” he explains.
Full size hinged lower panels give clear side access while the one-piece front gate provides unimpeded access to the animal’s head.
Prices for the remote control hydraulic crush start at £7,800 rising to £16,000 for the largest model with a weighing section added on – typically £4,000 to £5,000 more than Glendale’s equivalent manual crush.
Manual remote controls feature on the hydraulic squeeze crush from LM Bateman & Co.
A mains electricity-powered pump operates the side panel ‘squeeze’ mechanism and also the head yoke. A chin lift secures the head for tagging, drenching, dehorning or inserting a bolus.
Hinged lower panels give clear access for clipping and suckling calves and there is a smaller side access door that exposes the animal’s neck for TB testing and injecting.
See more on the Royal Highland Show on our Taking Stock blog.