Spin-a-calf makes marking calves a one man job

Henty Machinery Field Days 2019: Spin-a-Calf to reduce labour and animal stress

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David and Gerald Hicks with their Spin-a-Calf equipment which was highly commended in the Henty Machine of the Year awards.

David and Gerald Hicks with their Spin-a-Calf equipment which was highly commended in the Henty Machine of the Year awards.

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See the explanation on how the Spin-a-Calf works.

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New design, the Spin-a-Calf has turned marking and branding calves into a one man job.

The equipment uses a turntable to allow the calf to stay upright, minimising stress to the animal.

Australian designed and manufactured, the Spin-a-Calf was highly commended in the Henty Machine of the Year Award.

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It was entered by father and son team, Gerald and David Hicks from Offsider Ag Equipment, who travelled to the Henty Machinery Field Days all the way from Killarney, Queensland.

David Hicks explains how the Spin-a-Calf works

David Hicks said designing the machine was a three year process.

"We were looking to create a machine that increases safety for the animal and operator, minimises stress and decreases the labour units in the cattle yards," Mr Hicks said.

He said the hardest part of the design was ensuring access to fire-brand and control the animal.

"We went through versions where more pieces were automated but this model was the most effective," Mr Hicks said.

Mr Hicks said he hoped the machine would pay for itself in a couple of years due to the labour savings.

"The big key is not having to pay someone to help you," Mr Hicks said.

"Depending on the season and size of stock, it can handle calves up to weaning weight or 1300mm high."

Judge, Mark Bowyer said the side panels on the equipment slide forward to allow access to the rear of the calf for marking without comprimising safety of the operator.

"It is self adjusting with a simple ratchet mechanism clamping the calf in position, without causing any bruising on the animal," Mr Bowyer said.

"It is a simple machine with not too many wearing parts and a lot of thought has gone into it."

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