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Cattle herding and rearing is a challenge that tests even the best farmers. When looking from afar, cattle and livestock may present a very calm and obedient demeanor; however, the reality of the situation is different.
Regardless of the benefits farm animals bring to their owners, handling them requires great patience and new techniques. The stubborn nature of the cattle animals and the fear of prowling predators need special attention. Ignoring these factors can put you in a very dicey situation—you, as a livestock owner, will have to negate both the threat of a strike and the aggressive attitude of your animals.
Given the significance of cattle rearing and the sensitivity that is involved in it, it is imperative to take the aid of tools for controlling the livestock’s movement. Cattle prods prompt your stubborn herd to move so you can protect them and yourself from wild animals which makes the job a lot easier.
However, of the various types of cattle prods available today, not all are designed for every kind of situation. This is why we have compiled a list of the three best cattle prods; to further assist you in forming an opinion, we will also highlight the best uses of each cattle prod. Before we begin an elaborate review, here is an overview of the three best cattle prods.
Best Cattle Prods
Of all the cattle prods available today, the Miller Duraprod DX36 stands out. The purposes for which this cattle prod is used for may not match your requirements but the quality and the state-of-the-art design makes the Miller Duraprod DX36 stand above the other cattle prods.
- DuraProd Livestock Prod, Non-Reachable, DuraProd, 36 in...
- Highly durable product
- Manufactured in United States
With over 70 years of experience in the livestock industry, the Miller Manufacturing Company is well-aware of the needs of the cattle industry today. Having expertise in the industry has led to the company dominating to the point where it faces no or little competition today.
Top Tier Components
One needs to understand that, in the cattle prod market, products are often sold as separate interchangeable pieces. Like all other industries, the big companies in the cattle prod industry are responsible for creating this trend, leaving other smaller businesses with no option other than to follow suit.
Therefore, it is more likely that a Miller component is connected to a competitor’s product than the other way round.
After assessing all the other products and the mechanics behind the production of cattle prods, we can safely say that using a handle as good as the one used in Miller Duraprod DX36 is very unlikely.
The built-in safety switch and the rubber grip provide ideal insulation in addition to ensuring that you don’t accidentally shock yourself when using the product.
As livestock farmers, we all encounter an animal that is aggressive and difficult to deal with, a slight ping on the backside from a close distance may put them off, forcing them to react rather aggressively. The Duraprod DX36 covers this aspect with the presence of a 36-inch fiberglass shaft that provides you with enough length and stiffness; this makes the bad-tempered livestock think twice before pushing through.
Although not the oldest company in our list, Springer Magrath has focused on providing products exclusively for animal care since its inception. With an experience spanning over half a century, Springer Magrath pays special attention to commercial and agricultural markets.
- The Magrath Stock Prod is designed to help handle and move...
- As a market leader, it has proven itself on the road and in...
- Time tested and proven effective.
- Gives efficient electrical conduction & long battery life.
The exclusive nature of their products and the target market allowed the company to rise through the ranks. However, it is one of many companies acquired by Miller Mfg Co.
The takeover has not led to a decline in the standard of the products as Miller has experience and expertise in the cattle and livestock industry which is second to none. Magrath products are now better than before due to their success in keeping production costs lower than ever.
Although many ranchers may consider that the Magrath Prod is not worthy of being considered as one of the best cattle prods, the low price and the ideal specifications make it the best budget cattle prod.
Care and Diligence
The Magrath cattle prod is ideal only for experienced users. A short and flexible shaft means that the user will have to get close to the animal. While this may unsettle an inexperienced user, a person using cattle prods for quite some time now will be unfazed when using the Magrath Livestock Prod.
The particular model of the Magrath Livestock Prod is not rechargeable but the included handle does have an add-on accessory which is rechargeable. Its rubber trigger and insulted grip save you from accidental shocks and given the powerful shock the product possesses, these features become a must-have for the Magrath Livestock Prod.
Additionally, given the short nature of the shaft, it is very likely that you’ll end up in close proximity of an irate animal. To ensure that the animal does not harm you if you wander off too close, the product makes up with having an electric shock as powerful as 5500 Kv.
Another product that was recently purchased by Miller Mfg, Hot Shot HSR48 HS2000 is the final product in our review of the three best cattle prods. Professional ranchers were already pleased with the performance of the Grand HotShot, making it one of the top tier brands.
- TRUSTED FOR OVER 75 YEARS - The Hot Shot brand has prided...
- PERFORMS IN ALL CONDITIONS - This livestock prod delivers...
- SEALED MOTOR - Permanently sealed, maintenance-free motor...
- RECHARGEABLE BATTERY - This cattle prod includes a...
However, of all the products made by HotShot, this one stands out in particular as their best offering. The extra features that the product possesses, predominantly due to its rechargeable nature, make it one of the bests.
As the name suggests, the HotShot HS2000 is there to provide an incredibly powerful jolt to animals. It is the only cattle prod that commercial truckers and hog producers can use—such is the significance of the product.
Made of stiff Fiberglass, the 48-inch shaft is the primary reason for the immense popularity the product has amongst users. In addition to ensuring that you are safe from the cattle prod itself, the large shaft also provides you a safe distance from the animal.
Similar to all other cattle prods, the Hot Shot HS2000 also prioritizes your safety and security. A safety clip that sits over the Trigger prevents any accidental shocks. Additionally, the permanent sealing of both the motor and the handle prevents any debris from getting inside.
The HotShot HS2000 also comes with a rechargeable battery pack, which ensures that you don’t have to keep paying for batteries while using the product.
Best Cattle Prods Buyer’s Guide
Considering the fact that a single manufacturer is responsible for producing the majority of the cattle prods today, there is less diversity in the cattle prod industry. The lack of diversity makes the models more or less the same and the differences between the various models are generally less than other sectors.
To help you figure out which cattle prod suits your needs, we have identified the materials that play a significant role.
The following buyer’s guide provides you an insight into these materials and guides you on ways you can assess whether the cattle prods are meaningful for the purpose you need them for.
Made of an industrial-grade plastic base with glass fibers woven through them, fiberglass resembles plastic more than glass. The composition of plastic and fiberglass adds a much-needed stiffness to the product while not limiting the flexibility of the product in any way.
For all ranchers, the flexibility of the cattle prod is a must but the non-durable nature of fiberglass, especially during the winter season, limits the amount of flexibility.
Analyzing the modern cattle prod, it is fair to assume that steel, due to its conductive nature, is used either for the leads or as part of the frame. However, in reality, the steel is used to reinforce the shaft of flexible cattle prods.
The molecular structure of steel makes it more flexible than glass, creating an ideal amount of durability and flexibility in the shaft.
This is another material that you expect in a cattle prod. Rubber serves as the insulator that protects the user from getting shocked accidentally.
Additionally, rubber is also used in combination with steel threads to provide flexibility while being durable for sticking onto your livestock.
However, the one thing that you need to be wary about rubbers is the organic nature of the product. This means that if you don’t protect the rubber and maintain it, there are high chances that the rubber will start eroding.
Probably one of the best and durable forms of plastic, ABS is the same material used in Lego building blocks. It is also used by NASA for research. In addition to not being affected by whatever you throw at it, ABS is also incredibly durable.
ABS is one of the significant components of cattle prods. In addition to the materials mentioned here, this plastic type is a regular feature in almost all cattle prods. The durable and resistant nature of ABS makes it an excellent cover for handles, saving them from accumulating all sorts of dirt and debris.
Another material found in almost every brand, copper is easily the least-used material in a cattle prod. Being one of the most conductive metals in the world is the only reason to include copper in a cattle prod.
Used primarily in the prod’s contact base that transfers the charge, copper is alloyed with other metals in less reputable cattle prods. The mixture causes contact points to wear out quicker due to the flow of electric charge, resulting in a less effective cattle prod.
Considered an essential component of a cattle prod, the rod gives the user the space for safely prompting stubborn livestock. The contact is what drives the herd but it is the distance that allows you the space for issuing a warning to the cattle.
Many experienced ranchers claim that the use of electric current will annoy an already angry animal; this makes maintaining a safe distance from the animal even more important. There is also much discussion among ranchers about stiff rods, flexible rods, and choosing one over the other. We feel that both the cattle prod types have their advantages and disadvantages but your use of the cattle prod type should depend on how aggressive your animals are.
The Debate on Stiff vs. Flexible
The cattle prod type preferred by you is heavily dependent on the kind of animals you have. Although flexible shafts are less likely to break, they don’t give you the option of training your animal since it does not present a mental impediment.
With the use of a stiff shaft, you can time the shock properly training your animal on the actions that lead to the shock. The fear of impending electric shock will cause the animals to avoid circumstances that lead to it, convincing them to move or stop when desired.
In addition to having low chances of breaking down, flexible shafts are also less expensive considering that they are generally made of rubber and not fiberglass which is used in stiffer shafts.
The length of the shaft is something that depends on your comfort level in dealing with an aggressive animal. If you are confident and have full faith in your abilities than a short shaft will also do the job for you. If you don’t feel comfortable controlling an agitated animal from a close distance, then you need a rod with considerable distance on it.
A person who is reasonably confident about their ability to control the livestock can do with a short shaft of around 2 inches. However, as a user, it is imperative to understand the limitations of using the product as well since there are not many short shafts that can support its weight.
The logic of shaft collapsing under its weight is true for rods over a length of 3 inches as shifts that are stiff or made of fiberglass run the risk of snapping and collapsing under their weight when used for long periods.
Choosing the a great cattle prod today is not an easy task. As mentioned before, the vast array of products available having little to no variety further complicates the problem. However, given the specific details discussed above, you can assess and choose the best cattle prod that suits your needs ideally.
Of all the products mentioned above, we have already nominated the clear favorite – Miller Duraprod DX36. The flagship product of one of the premier manufacturers of cattle prods, Duraprod DX36 has all the right features and components, providing the users with the best handles and the best shafts in the industry. The delicate balance of price and service also adds in favor of the product, making it our best cattle prod.
However, if you are thinking of something different and need an option that has less impact on your pocket, then the Magrath Livestock Product is ideal. If you are someone who wants a distance from the livestock and not afraid of spending more, then HotShot HS2000 is what you are looking for.
This guide on the best cattle prods today and the significant components that play a critical role in making them the best will make your life easier for sure, don’t you think?
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