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Invest Wisely: Choosing the Right Calf Handling Equipment for Your Farm

Running a successful cattle farm requires handling your calves with the utmost care. Proper calf handling doesn’t only mean ensuring the well-being of your livestock; it also contributes to the efficiency and productivity of farm operations. However, to achieve this, one needs access to the right equipment and tools tailored to the needs of specific cattle types and different operations. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore cattle welfare standards, handling requirements, and essential equipment for calf handling.

In Australia, cattle or calf operators must follow the Australian Animal Welfare Standards, while managing and working around calves. It is important to adhere to strict guidelines to ensure their welfare throughout the process of handling and transportation. During transportation daily activities or routine health checks, the operator is supposed to pay attention to calf behaviour and health. Calves transported to and from a farm are carefully assessed at every stage; legally they should be at least five days old to ensure readiness for transport and handling. Some regulations by AAWS state that:

  • Calves should always be handled with care

  • All calves being transported should be healthy and fit to load and be at least five days old

  • Calves receive a liquid feed within six hours of transport with the details recorded and available for future audit

  • Adequate shelter should be provided to calves prior to pick-up

  • Any calves sold must be antibiotic-free

Understanding Your Requirements

Let us first understand your farm’s specific requirements before delving into the equipment details. Factors like the scale of the operation, the number of cattle heads, and your budget will play an extremely crucial role in determining the most suitable equipment for your needs.

  • Farm Size & Layout

The farm size and layout influence the type of equipment you might need. Small-scale operations in compact spaces need compact and versatile equipment that is portable and also lightweight. While in large-scale operations, larger farms require robust and automated solutions, with manual handling options as well. 

  • Safety Considerations

Safety should always be a top priority when handling calves. You will need equipment that is ergonomic and is designed with in-built safety features. Integration of anti-slip treads, secure restraints, and sturdy construction fit for Australian cattle. 

  • Ease of Use and Maintenance

Efficiency in calf handling is paramount. Opt for equipment that is easy to handle and maintain. User-friendly designs and smooth and swift motion are some features you should be looking for in your equipment. Durable material and components resistant to corrosion and wear and tear, reduce the need for frequent repairs, replacement, and overall downtime. Simple design and handling machinery require minimal time for staff or operators to get used to, choosing such a piece of equipment will enhance management in the absence of other staff members.

Essential Calf Handling Components & types of equipment

Now that we've outlined some key considerations, let's explore the essential calf-handling equipment and other elements every farm should have:

  • Calf Cradles

Calf cradles are essential for every farm, just restrain your calves and perform procedures like tagging, vaccinations, and hoof trimming with a secure and steady cattle. Cradles with adjustable components accommodate calves of various sizes and builds, and the sturdy construction allows repeated and long-term use. 

  • Calf Weighing Scales/ Weigh Box

In monitoring the health and growth of the calves, weight stands to be a very important factor. Invest in a quality Weigh Box for cattle and calves, ensuring precise measurements every time. Make sure that your investment is at the right place by ensuring that the equipment is designed for calves.

  • Proper Fencing/ Cattle Yards

Your cattle need a safe and secure enclosure for their safety. You can’t just let them roam in an unbound field and expect them to return or be safe. Fencing is important for not only enclosing calves but also for many other benefits such as exclusion, protection from predators, defining boundaries and more. Consider options that are versatile, made of durable materials, and could be customised to suit your farm space. 

  • Calf Transport Equipment/ Adjustable Loading Ramp

An adjustable loading ramp is crucial for a farm setup. Use it to load up calves for transportation to or from the farm. For safe and efficient loading, choose an adjustable loading ramp whose height can be changed as per the requirement. 

Why Choose RPM Livestock Equipment

When it comes to manufacturing and quality calf handling equipment, RPM Livestock Equipment stands out as a trusted provider. They are reputed for a reliable, durable, and innovative range of products, designed tough for Australian cattle and the diverse needs of Aussie farmers. RPM’s calf cradle and calf race are renowned products, widely preferred by experienced cattle producers.

  • Quality Assurance

RPM Livestock Equipment is committed to delivering equipment of high quality, designed to last under Australian conditions. Equipment made from high-tensile galvanised steel has high performance for the long term. Trust RPM’s specialisation in precision engineering to deliver solutions in compliance with industry standards and customer expectations.

  • Tailored Solutions

Being in the manufacturing industry for decades, we understand that no two farms have similar requirements. We provide tailored solutions for most of our products to match your specific farm needs. Whether you run a small family farm or are an enterprise-level producer, we can provide you with expert-level suggestions as well as solutions that align with your budget and needs. Our experienced professionals work closely with you to visualise your challenges and goals, offering personalised solutions and support from start to finish.

In maximising your profit, small factors, like cattle handling and calf care, make a huge impact. Do your research and only then choose cattle handling equipment setup. Keep in mind that it is you who will have to handle young calves through machinery and make sure that the equipment you pick is easy to use. Connect with RPM Livestock Equipment’s professionals for expert advice, you can also ask for customisation and our draughtsman/draftsman will design the perfect setup for your farm.


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