Calf Sled?

Things that come up in the daily operation of a ranch.
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JF Ranch
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Calf Sled?

Post by JF Ranch » Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:00 pm

For many years we've used a home built sled to move a newborn calf, with the anxious mother trotting along behind. It has worked well either attached to a saddle horn or behind a 4-wheeler.

Unfortunately the years have taken it's toll on it. It has been upset, bent up and broken up so many times, it is hardly worth fixing again.

I did a quick search and found a couple available but am not sure what to think of either of them:

1. Koehn Kozy Kalf Sled ... ucts_id=57

2. Sun-Tag Sled

Has anyone used either of these? Or do you know of any others that work well for you?

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Post by 101 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:08 pm

We have used a Koehn for years, it has held up good for us, have had cows step in it and been knocked around and still in good shape, the netting can be a pain at times but holds a calf in well. Good luck 101

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Post by WyomingRancher » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:33 pm

The Koehn sled works good. I threw away the net and bolted a back board to the tapered end of the sled so that they don't flop themselves out and it works great.

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Post by LazyWP » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:49 pm

Before you buy either of them, talk to Flyin S about what happened to him. I like one with a cage around it better. More to keep the cow out, then the calf in.

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Post by Soapweed » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:04 pm

If we'd just learn to calve in April and May, no sled would be needed. :wink:

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Post by Faster horses » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:12 pm

What you need, JF Ranch, is an old IHC Scout like ours. :D We have a
calf carrier that (I think)
is made out of pipe and is hooked to the
back of the Scout. You attach it to the ball of the vehicle and it goes up
along the tailgate. The calf is in it with his feet hanging down.
You can secure them with a seat belt or whatever. The old cow
likes it that she can see the calf really well and she just comes right along.
Best thing we have ever found!

Our local 'inventor genius' made it for us and one for himself.

Oh, and we just happen to have one for sale. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :P :wink:
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Post by PureCountry » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:56 pm

Have to say my preference is for one with a cage as well. Used sleds for years and ended up with calves stepped on, broken sleds, and sore shoulders from a cow stepping in the sled when I wasn't looking and jerking me not nice over tea kettle.

My Grandad built one out of square steel tubing with runners on the bottom and 4 sides done like prison bars for the sake of simple explanation. The front and back are full gates which is real handy for loading/unloading the calf. The straight hitch pulls real easy behind his quad.
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Post by gcreekrch » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:23 pm

Neighbors built one with snowmobile skis for runners. The frame is high enough for the cradle to hang in and the calf to be off the ground. Cradle is a piece of heavy canvas with 4 leg holes and a fifth hole to keep the navel clean from previous riders.

I just carry them on the back of the four wheeler. Most cows will follow once they realize the calf is off the ground.
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Post by flyingS » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:13 pm

JF, I have a Koehn. I took the net off ad just tied the calves and set them in it. Works great until Mama crawls in it with them. I have used some pretty good ones that are simple to make if you wanted some ideas. Probably the best one was mounted on the back of a polaris ranger via a 2" reciever hitch. I have also seen similar sleds built that you could pull. It is more like a cradle that holds the calf's feet off the ground. A neighbor has a sled built on wooden runners so it has about 6" of clearance and it has a cage that is mounted on hinges so that it folds to the front. You just set your calf on the platform and set the cage over him. The cage is very sturdy and handles quite a bit of abuse. My preference would be to provide more protection for the calf. A good mother will stay right with a calf and eventually you will end up breaking the leg on one.

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Post by flyingS » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:45 pm

This is similar to the cradle I was talking about, the one I used was home made. I like these the best, they make it so a cow can't step on her calf or knock a sled over and they are also handy for tagging if you are buy yourself. You can just set your calf on there and go about your business and writing records down without him fighting to get away from you or running off. It also leaves a calf out where a cow can smell him without having to reach over or smell through a cage. ... rature.pdf

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Post by lefty » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:43 am

I would go with a color other than black . I have 2 black sleds & cows have a hard time seeing their black calves in em sometimes

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Post by George » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:53 am

Don't laugh to hard, but on the rare occasion where I needed a sled I have used an old pick-up truck hood- - - can't be pulled easily by hand but works great behind an ATV.

You can stack 10 square bales on it as well.
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