Kowkantkick or kick stop?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by dk_40207, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. dk_40207

    dk_40207 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone try these, and have an opinion? They are pretty different in price, but we like that you don't have to bend over to their feet to put them on! We need to restrain her back legs so we can comfortably milk her. Tried a tie back today, but she nearly took off my sweetie's arm :grump: Yeah, I'd say we're grumpy.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No I haven't, but my boss in one of the dairies I used to milk at had a pretty good method. He would take a nice rope(about as thick as my thumb), throw it over the cows back right in front of the hipbones, bring it up under the cow right in front of her udder and tie the ends tight together, pinching the cow pretty tightly, but not enough to harm her. I guess maybe it pinches a nerve or keeps her off balance enough that she doesn't want to raise her foot too high, or...?? But it worked. You also need to have her up against a wall on one side(and behind her would be preferable as well), so that you have more control over her.....The rope trick may really help. :shrug: Don't be afraid your going to pull her in half.....she is a lot stronger than you! :)
     
    springvalley and triple divide like this.

  3. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    most of what I've seen has been the short chain links with a flat, folded over metal that goes above the <hock?>
     
  4. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Use a simple halter around their flanks. It is cheap, safe and you can remove it quickly, or cut it if need be. The kow kant kick can kill you. Our vet told us of an instance, where a farmer had one on the cow. The cow jumped sideways, striking the farmer in the back of the neck, it paralyzed him. So do yourself a favor, use something that can be removed easily, and a rope is your best bet. We use it, and it will do a better job.



    Jeff
     
  5. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    I would get a kick bar. One that hooks under her skin above her udder, then up over her back. They cannot lift the one on that side as it presses on a nerve. We always have one, especially when they first freshen and they are sensitive. Or anytime they may act up. Jeffers carries them and they are very reasonable, we have had ours for years.
     
  6. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Suzanne is referring to the Kick Stop.
    We use a Kick Stop in most cases where restraint is needed.
    Each cow is different though. What works on some, won't work on others. We have a cow where the Kick Stop is impossible to use. Her hips are screwed up (born that way, aparently it isn't all that uncommon). So, she got tied with her head up. If she went to move it threw her off balance.

    The rope Emily refers to does the same as the Kick Stop and the Kow Kant Kick. It places pressure in front of the leg so they aren't able to lift.

    Here is a Kick Stop. This particular Kick Stop isn't as tight as it would start out on a cow. Dad likes to have them as loose as possible for cow comfort. Mostly, it is a reminder to Snowdrift. She has her days.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Looks like you have a passel of good ideas. I will offer the method we use, which requires no purchased tools or setting up of ropes. It does, however, require two adults. The physically stronger of the two stands directly behind cow. You get a firm grip on her tail about three inches out from where it leaves her body. Then you put it straight up in the air, usually by the time the tail approaches a 90 degree angle from her spine, she is totally immobilized, and will not kick. If you get a stubborn one, we sometimes exceed that to where tail starts to form an acute angle to cow's spine.
    The second person then washes cow and attaches milker. once cow is standing and letting milker do the job, back off pressure on tail, but do not release tail from your hand. If she goes to kick, you reapply forward pressure on tail, she will get the message and cease and desist from kicking. As Ozark Jewel suggests, best to have a wall or stall divider on at least one side of her, as she may try to scoot sideways when you initially start to jack her tail up in air. Usually after 2-3 milkings like this, a cow will decide to get with the program and milk.
    Does this heifer have Udder Edema? If so perhaps a good application of a peppermint based udder creme or a good bag balm would help reduce that,
    making milking less painful for heifer(and you as well,LOL).
     
  8. dk_40207

    dk_40207 Well-Known Member

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    Thankyou everyone! Guess we'll try to belly rope this morning, and see where we're at! She isn't a constant kicker, but when your sitting right under the big girls belly...once is too much. Now milking sucks because I am to neous to get close to her and I sit far up and reach in ...killing my back.
    Oh, and thanks for the pics, Roseanna. That always helps:)
     
  9. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Actually you are in far more danger of being hurt if you stand way off and reach in. This lets the cow get some real power behind her kick before it hits you and she can do some real damage. If you sit in *real* close(and I mean with your head *jammed* against her flank), she may kick, but she won't have much power behind the swing when it hits you as she has just started swinging. Another good thing about sitting so close is that usually you can feel her tense right before she lifts her leg to kick and can many times avoid it by tapping her smartly and saying her name sharply(not yelling, just sharply). I have been handmilking Jerseys since I was 7 years old when I started with a very ornery old gal named Ginger. This has worked well with Ginger and all her descendents down through the years. Just a thought. :)
     
  10. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have used a Kick Stop at many of the dairies I worked at, but prefer the rope method as it always worked better for me. I have been hit several times by the Kick Stop when a particularly violent cow was hopping around. And sometimes you have to get the Kick Stop so tight to work on a really bad kicker, that it is really hard to get off again if the cow jams it just so. With the rope, I use a slipknot and there is never a problem. Be sure to use a slipknot if you try the rope method.
     
  11. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    thats what we have. It works well. Its easy to put on, and take off
     
  12. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Jerseys always have their days, those damn things kick because they can!



    Jeff
     
  13. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    And, of course, Holsteins never do. :rolleyes:
    You run into that when you chose to work with intelligent animals.
    Snowdrift just has attitude. Always has, always will. Just her nature.At this stage that kicker doesn't stop anything. At times all dad has to do is hold the kicker up and the cow will stop what she is doing. Gotta love those memories.
    For the most part the Kicker hangs up and we don't need it. I milk around 50 head of Jerseys at the school farm as well and the Kicker has been brought down once or twice in the past year. Usually for a cow with a cut on her teat.


    Up North,
    Have you ended up with cows with broken tail heads using that method? That is my concern with that type of method. Especially if someone gets too in to it.


    Are you hand milking or machine? I assume hand, so this may not work as well.
    However, if you lean into the them just above where the Kick stop hooks under the skin there, when they go to kick they actually push you away.
    You need to get the upper hand, however. She can sense you are nervous and that will make her nervous, and more apt to kick. I sharp noise and a slap are a wonderful suggestion, Emily. With Priscilla at the school (who was intelligent enough that she could nail you no matter where you washed her from...straight back was her favorite), I get in beside her and am careful with her. If she starts to get rowdy. I tell her, "Pris, no." The Pris is drawn out, so she knows I mean busniess. She usually just needs to snapped out of the trance they get into at times. Pris sliced her teat on top of where she had scratched it on barbed wire, so she is very sensitive right now and even more kicky than she normally can be if not approached properly.

    Ireland would get to kicking, and a quick slap (the sound is what hurts, not the physical) and you could just see her snap out of it. Boy, if you didn't snap her out of it she just kept going and going. Shot, swift steps.
     
  14. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Roseanna your concern is understood and a valid one. The key is to apply only enough pressure to send message to cow, then back off pressure instant she complies. Like your father holding up kicker, after 2 or three times, the cow's memory of pain exceeds her desire to kick, and just grasping tail at that point "reminds" them to tend to P's&Q's.
    For anyone who loses their temper and overdoes things, I would not recommend it, as you could break their tail, although I can't remember breaking any.
    Should anyone object that this causes a cow undue pain or is cruel, I would say ask the COW if she prefers to have her tail jacked up a few times for training purposes or the pain of the slaughterhouse stun-gun. If a cow is going to put a family member or milker in danger of injury, those are her two options. We do not tolerate dangerous or chronically ornery cows.
     
  15. dk_40207

    dk_40207 Well-Known Member

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    Tried the rope under the belly this morning....disaster. It worked....a little. It was immpossible to apply just the right amount of pressure. Too little, and she has complete movement, too much and she was completely unable to use her legs. She put her legs together and started to sway to one side. My husband had the rope, and it got to a point where she was leaning over so much that it was impossible to loosen the rope(it was up over the top rail of the stall). She then flopped herself all of the way over and fell down. We actually had to cut the rope that her halter was tied to.
    Like I said, disaster. I've called almost everyplace around here to see about devices or head gate(which cost a fortune)....nobody can help.

    We are seriously concidering letting her go dry until she calves(if she is actually pregnant). We were going to have to dry her up in two months anyhow. We feel defeated. We are truely scared that she is going to hurt someone or herself.
    She was pretty gentle at first and seems to be getting worse. She used to munch on hay after she was finished w/ her grain, but now won't touch it.

    As far as sitting real cose under her....I just couldn't bring myself to do that without her legs restrained(not after what I've seen her do..she's just getting worse). Perhaps if her head was in a gate or something, but as I've said...nobody has any. My husband can build one, but it would be a day or two before it's all done, and I was wondering if it would e better to dry her up, and try to have our ducks in a row this winter?? Truly this is an awful feeling...
     
  16. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Intelligent? Not sure about that, never had a Jersey open a door to a barn like this one holstein we have. She has learned how to knock down a gate, then open the door. We have a beefer that could open a door, but still waiting on them Jerseys. A couple things that annoy me about them. One is they are short. The other is the fact they will kick the milker off, because they can! :). We have a Jersey/Holstein cross, she doesn't kick it off, its mostly accidental. However I have noticed they have two ways to kick. One is to get the milker, centered, down it goes. The other is the accidental hoof on the small air lines, thats due to a fly biting.

    As far as the holsteins go. Sure they can be moody, however usually a "Knock it off" stops them. A Jersey, well a slap to the ass after the fact keeps them from doing it again. A couple good things about Jerseys, they can convert feed exceptionally well. Also if you need to move them, they aren't heavy animals to push aside. Which reminds of something else that annoys me. While in the parlor, you push them over, they lean back.


    Either way, temperament wise holsteins are number 2 or 3 on the list, Jerseys are 8 or so. Swiss are another story, they seem worse! They don't kick, but they are extremely bull headed. They act like they are minding, then all of a sudden they go a direction they feel like it! We only had to hobble the swiss a couple times, had to hobble a holstein a couple times. But that Jersey, had to tie her every which way, double halter her head for 2-3 weeks.


    Jeff
     
  17. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    <sigh....> I don't know what to tell you. I have broken in some really wild milkers in my time and some that were just plain mean. I have used many different methods.....most of which I have already mentioned. Wish I was there closer to you, I'd be pleased to come over and see if I could help! Here is the most common method I have used from start to finish.
    I tie the cow with her head in a corner and her feed in front of her. She is tied close so that she cannot manuever her front away from the wall that she is standing against. Then I slowly talk and touch and gentle her a bit before pulling up the milk stool(an old metal milk crate), and sitting down *right against her flank*. Keep talking, and start gently massaging her udder, not butterfly touches as that tickles and makes them kick, just a smooth, gentle massage to get the cow to let her milk down and get her used to the feeling. Then I smoothly reach over and grab the milk bucket. Ease it under her and start milking, trying to hit the sides of the bucket rather than the bottom as the bottom makes a "pinging" noise until it has some milk in it and that causes some cows to be nervous. The entire time I am doing all this I am talking in a low soothing monotone. You can say anything but I copy my Grandpa in this. He taught me to use a long drawn out "Saaawww, old girl, saaawww". Don't ask me why, but it seems to work. :rolleyes: And it keeps Grandpa close in my thoughts. :) Of course it doesn't usually go smoothly for a couple weeks with wild cows and ornery ones, you can just never tell. It takes a while for them to get comfortable being touched, but usually they grow to really appreciate milking time. Over time, the cows get taught to move their leg back when asked and to move over at a touch. To me, having a new cow in a corner is imperative to having control over the situation. Cows can tell when your nervous or afraid of being kicked(very natural I know!!), so one big secret is confidence in your movements and voice. If you treat them like they are big and can easily hurt you....they will take advantage! They must know whos boss, and it isn't them. Gentleness and slow movements yes, but confidence as well, not timidity. Gee, this sounds like a lecture. :nerd: Just trying to think of everything that milkers have taught me over the years. Sorry you are having so much trouble. :(
     
  18. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    dk- You have a nervous, excitable heifer who is exercising her instinctual fight or flight response. This time it's fight. This is a difficult time for you and dh undoubtedly. But situation is certainly salvageable.
    Tonite, I would go to barn careful to never raise your voice. Better yet, say nothing. Totally mute, LOL.
    Using halter, Lariat, or rope, tie her head short limiting movement( But not in any way she can hang herself). Then jack her tail in air. She will fight this a bit at first and attempt to elude you by twisting and scooting side to side. Be persistant and firm. Once she stands down for you, and she will, she will stand with all four feet on floor and allow second person to wash and milk her. I won't say it will be easy, but once you have that tail jacked up to right angle she will stand down. Reward her "good" behavior by lessening pressure on tail, reapply pressure if she shows any sign of lifting a foot or moving.Reward her with grain after milking, then exit or release her to pasture quietly and exit.
    Not to dismiss or in any way lessen the good advice and effort shown by other contributors. Just one person's method that works to train a wild heifer. I fear that if she wins out, she won't be any better next time she freshens. Best of Luck.
     
  19. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Very good point. And she will know that she won, they aren't as stupid as they sometimes act. :rolleyes:
     
  20. scorpian5

    scorpian5 Well-Known Member

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    put a set of hobbles on the cow and leave them on for a week. Get them tight enough that you can work around her but dont give much slack or she can still kick . We had a heifer that was just awful and had to be tailed every time she was milked and the hobbles worked right away. I know it may look mean to the cow but after a couple of days the can walk around pretty good. And the newer ones with velcro are a lot nicer than the leather ones.