Posted By: Ralph

Stress-Free TB Testing with Remote Control Yokes

We used a client’s new Morris Remote Control hydraulic yoke set up for his recent herd test. There are two remote control yokes at the end of a race leading off from a new rotary parlour, as in the letter ‘Y’. Each yoke is operated by a wireless handheld device, which has 4 options: open/close yoke and open/close (rear) gate. The distance between the yoke and the rear gate is long enough to hold a cow, standing free behind the yoke and in front of the rear gates. One operator controlled each yoke whilst Ray tested cows on their left side in the left-hand crush and I tested them on the right in the right hand one. APHA insists, when two people are testing at the same place and time, that each tester reads ‘their’ cows on day 2. Injecting on day 1 was straightforward but as always when clipping. etc, it can help if someone stands in front of the cow so the neck can be accessed behind the yoke. After testing both groups of milkers, we had both done about the same number, much to our mutual surprise as we both thought the other had tested many more! 

On day 2, we used one crush with Ray and I standing on our respective sides. We had expected to identify who had tested which cows by looking to see if they were clipped on the left or right sides, but it was much easier when Ray’s cows had been identified by a vertical red stripe over the shoulder. I prefer not to restrain cows by the neck on day 2 as frequently the injection sites are obstructed by the yoke, but because they were being vaccinated, this was not possible. 

We were all impressed by how smoothly the set up worked, I found it all quite stress free, as I think our client must have judging by the wide grin on his face whenever I looked up! 

Vet Ralph

Remote Control Yokes: A Game Changer for TB Testing?

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