Crush Mate, an animal handling device for animal crushes, chutes, or races, to immobilise smaller animals, is the brainchild of Seamus Dunne, a 60-cow dairy farmer.
The County Laois native came up with this invention two years ago and officially launched the “world-first” product on his website on March 13th, 2021.
Speaking to That’s Farming, about Crush Mate, he said:
“I had thought about this product for years. One day I was freeze branding; there was a lot of hardship with heifers moving from side-to-side, and I thought there has to be a better way.”
“So, I came up with this device, that I can fit inside the crush, which goes out telescopically and holds the animal to one side, leaving them with no movement from size to size.”
Bringing the idea to fruition
After producing the first prototype, Seamus enlisted the help of his friend, who operates a robotic dairy farm, to fine-tune the product.
“We tweaked it a little bit, I made one for him. He trained all his first-calved heifers in the robot using the Crush Mate. He has used it for two seasons now, and he has found it very beneficial.”
“After that, I realised there could be a want for this type of product; it could be an accessory for any crush. I then trademarked the name, Crush Mate, and set up a website.”
“My brother-in-law, James Dooley, was very interest in this, and I asked him to come on board. He had previous sales experience and worked as a plumber and with stove and cooker manufacturing companies. So together, we formed the company, Crush Mate.”
The product, made from galvanised mild steel, can be secured to the inside of a cattle crush and fitted accordingly due to its adjustable linkage.
According to Seamus, this narrows the crush size, therefore, limiting the animal’s movement from side to side.
“The Crush Mate is roughly 20 kgs in weight; the main advantage is it takes the stress out of handling smaller animals, for the animal.”
Farmers can use the product for various tasks, including freeze branding, clipping, castration, AIing, or training a heifer in a robot, creating a safer environment for both animals and users.
“You can open the lever and pull it back in so that the animals can walk past it freely. Furthermore, when you want to hold an animal, you push it in and tighten the leaver.”
“I have used the internet to conduct research all over the world, and no product came up to match this. There are squeeze crushes and all that. However, they are all in big money brackets, and all need to be moved with a tractor.”
“This product is more mobile; it can be thrown into the back of a jeep or boot of a car and be brought to an out-farm.”
“A farmer does not require electrical power or air to operate it. It is a once-off purchase; you will not need to replace it.” Seamus concluded.
How to purchase and price
The easy-to-install Crush Mate retails at €320 (excluding VAT) with nationwide delivery – you can purchase from the company’s website by clicking here.
Co-written by Catherina Cunnane
To share your story, email – email@example.com