Many people are familiar with the concept of clipping horses in order to reducing sweating during exercise and keep them healthy and comfortable. So it may come as a surprise that clipping cattle is also a necessity for many farmers and smallholders and a common practice when animals are housed in the autumn. Clipping store cattle is an effective method for reducing the risk of pneumonia in young stock over the winter. Cattle can easily sweat up when there is a temperature change, which can chill the animals and contribute to the possibility of contracting pneumonia. Clipping out thick coats of cattle stored in close contact will also reduce the risk of lice and other skin parasites.
When and what to clip
Clipping a strike of hair off the backs of the cattle (approximately 5cm either side of the spine) will help prevent sweating when there are climatic changes. Clipping is a non-invasive, cost-effective and simple way to help keep this respiratory condition of pneumonia at bay. It is good practice to clip the cattle as soon as they are brought in - to safeguard their health, and if they are going to be inside for a long period it would also be advisable to clip out the tails. Clipping also has the benefit of giving the young stock every chance to gain weight, if they are cool and comfortable the daily intake and growth rate will naturally increase. Therefore clipping throughout the winter is worth pursuing.
Care must be taken when clipping cattle as they are not necessarily going to be compliant – especially if they are not so used to being handled. Clipping can be quite stressful for the animal so if the job can be done quickly and efficiently then all the better. We would always advise using an RCD safety adaptor - if the plug detects any electrical faults, it will interrupt the flow of electricity and will turn your clippers off.
What you need
With a reliable 200W mains-powered, modern magnetic motor the Masterclip Hunter clipper with medium A2 blade is ideal for clipping the backs of store cattle and stripping tails. The set costs £189.99 including VAT and free next day delivery.
The clipper is also available with an open toothed “Livestock” blade ideal for cleaning up dirty cattle but also gentle enough for clipping out the backs.