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udder flamers

Discussion in 'Livestock & Forage' started by Foot Doc, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Anybody had experience of using udder flamers to remove hair from cows udders? I have a customer who wants me to clip the udder hair from his herd of 120 cows when we have them in the hoof trimming crush. He is installing a robotic milker and has been advised by the installer to make sure the feet are good and the udders clean before he starts. I have clipped udders before in the trimming crush but it is quite a time consuming job. I have read a bit about these udder flamers and they sound great but I would like to hear of other farmers experiences before I purchase one.:unsure:
  2. neilo

    neilo Member

    Yes. Fantastic things when used with care. A quick waft under the udder and the job is done, no burning at all, just a quick singe.

    Not sure it would be very handy in a foot trimming crush though.i always did them in the parlour. Plenty of sh*t produced from the smell of singed hair, bu it didn't need doing often on Holsteins. BF's are a lot hairier generally though, so probably want doing more often.

    Once our cows were on the robots, I would wander quietly behind them at the feed barrier and do any offenders as and when it fitted in.

    Absolutely right to do them all before start up, though in the parlour would be a better option than paying the foot trimmer to do them, IMO. I doubt you'll have many clients that would pay you much to do them.

  3. Hi neilo, not really looking to take this up as an occupation, just trying to oblige a customer. We are going to have them all through the trimming crush anyway so if it just a matter of a few seconds to waft it below each cow then i probably wouldn't charge much extra anyway:whistle:. What make did you buy and what sort of price are they? Do they run on any type of gas ( butane, propane )?
  4. neilo

    neilo Member

    It was back in 2006, so memory may be foggy. I'm pretty sure it was caled an "Udder Singe", which was basically a length of holy pipe (not a Holy Yard of Truth) with a regulator on the end, and a metre of gas pipe connecting to a small butane (IIRC) canister. I think it was about £170 at the time, which was ridiculous for what it was, as always.

    If you're doing each cow in a crush, you'll be forever lighting it and putting it out again, so quite time consuming I'd have thought if you need to cost it.
  5. If I'm doing a routine trim on a cow I can put 8-10 cows through per hour so probably would just leave it burning. Can you adjust the level of flame that comes out of the lance? I must try a cow tomorrow with the heat gun I use to dry the foot before putting a block on as I've managed to take the hair of my arm by accidently getting too close to the bloody thing!!
  6. neilo

    neilo Member

    A heat gun would work, if you're very careful. Very easy to burn as it runs hotter than a singer. Use a yellow flame, not blue, and waft it quickly under the udder, several inches away.
  7. OK thanks for that, I'll try one tomorrow. One good thing about doing them in the trimming crush when the back leg is lifted there is less chance of getting the teeth kicked out!
  8. AWJ26

    AWJ26 Member

    Bought ours from Mole valley, about £120. Nice long lance, so no chance of getting kicked.
    Why don't you suggest to the customer that he buys it, as he will need to use it in the future, and you singe them this time.
    I try and do ours every few months, was doing them when TB testing every 60 days.
    Don't forget to trim the tails as well.
  9. Thanks AW I was going to suggest this to the farmer as he is probably going to have to do his cows at least a couple of times a year. At the moment he is under a bit of pressure as the robot is supposed to be getting commissioned next week and he is running about like a headless chicken trying to get everything finished. This is just one less job to be ticked off the list for him. I had also though of using my gas dehorner with the tip remove as this puts out quite a large yellow flame (which I discovered accidently one day when the tip fell off). When the cow is in my crush she is raised about 2 feet off the ground and with the leg lifted there would be easy access to the udder. It's not really the sort of work I would go looking for so probably not much point in buying a flamer myself.
  10. Talking of dehorners have many farmers tried the Horn-up 12-volt rechargable dehorners and what are they like to use. I have always used the gas dehorner with propane gas and get great results everytime, but connected to the 15kg bottle it requires a bit of lugging about. The Horn-up looks easy to use but what age of calves can it be used on and what numbers can be done before recharging?
  11. Sandpit Farm

    Sandpit Farm Member

    Don't bother with the Horn Up. It works fine on young calves but if they are 3 weeks or older or the horn grows fast (as in some holsteins) I don't think it will do the job. If you have a gas version, I think that may be best for more ages and breeds of calf. Horn Up reckon you can do 50 calves but think that is VERY optimistic.

    I am only going on what I have been told - mind you. Most farmers like to remove the bud of a calf but I think you only really need to quarterise the horn cells around the bud. I don't know any farmers who simply do the latter and I dont think I would want to try for fear of failure.

    Are you doing much disbudding?? I offer this as a service but don't get much, if any, call for it.
  12. Hi Sandpit, I do a fair bit of dehorning, mostly on dairy farms that we visit on a regular basis ( every 4-6 weeks). When we are there trimming we can dehorn any calves the same day. This way we manage to get the calves before they get too big. We also do larger animals but I don't go looking for this type of work as it's a lot more work, and if calves are done within the first month after birth it's a lot easiers on animals and us. I've even done some 2 year old heifers and beefies in the past with cheese wire and seal them up with the dehorner but it is bloody hard work.
    You don't need to remove the bud and even on older calves as long as you remove the top of the horn (flush with the head) and then give a good burn around the base of the horn this will stop it ever growing back. The Horn-up sounds handy just by the fact you don't have to lug a large gas bottle around with you. I just haven't come across too many people who have used one.
    A lot of dairy farmer like the dehorning service as it seems to be one of the jobs that keeps getting put off and before long the calves are too big for the farmers to do themselves. It also encourages farmers to book us on a fairly regular basis so that feet and dehorning is kept up to date and under control.
  13. Sandpit Farm

    Sandpit Farm Member

    I use a portable gas disbudding iron without a gas bottle. You just charge it with lighter fluid. It is much easier. It is about the size of a large chisel. I reckon that is your best bet. They cost about £150, and there is no limit to how many calves you can disbud.

    I know what you mean about the job getting put off.
  14. How hot does the tip get on your disbudding iron? The thing I really like about my one is the adjustable regulator and using propane gas the tip gets red hot. It's great for disbudding and the bud just shrivels up and drops out of the tip when removed. It's also great for sealing up any larger horns that have to be cut first. Downside apart from luging the gas bottle is that tips burn away and have to be replaced every couple of months.
  15. Sandpit Farm

    Sandpit Farm Member

    Sorry, have no idea. It does glow and it you spit on it - it sizzles (I know it sounds revolting but we do that to make sure its hot enough). Probably not worth changing what you already have.
  16. Yup, just liked the idea of the Horn-up being portable and the claims it would disbud lots of calves on a single charge.
  17. Chips

    Chips Member

    Udder flaming is okay once udder hair is under control , but if there is a bit of length to the hair and probably a bit of muck mated in to it ,it doesn't really do the job and the risk is you spend to long trying to singe it and burn a teat , I would clip each cow for that first time then singe to maintain it if you want , I don't always bother , once robot knows coordinants hair doesn't really bother it , but for start up I would have them all clipped bare to make the day go as quickly and smoothly as possible .

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