Cows grazing on remote New Zealand farms can now pump their own drinking water and be fully fenced off from precious waterways thanks to a Kiwi company’s newest product.
Shoof International, a veterinary equipment company which specialises in farm innovations, have just launched their new Grazing Pump. It allows cattle to drink from a trough and pump water at the same time without the need for power or water reticulation systems to be installed.
The Grazing Pump would prevent controversial situations where cattle stray into lakes and waterways, as occurred when cattle belonging to Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias and her husband, Hugh Fletcher, were photographed wading in a North Canterbury lake.
Shoof International’s group sales manager, John Stubbs, says when cattle drink from the portable trough, they push a lever arm with their nose which draws more water from the source supply.
“Water can be drawn 70m across or 7m upwards from any water source such as streams, ponds, bores, dams, wetlands or troughs,” Stubbs says.
“Animals learn very quickly how to operate the pump, as there is always a small amount of water lying in the bottom of the bowl which they try to drink, activating the pump in the process.
“There’s even a model that allows a calf to drink at the same time as its mother pumps the water. It’s the perfect solution for remote farming areas.”
The pumps supplies enough water for up to 50 dry stock, giving farmers the ability to fence off waterways completely, knowing their stock will always have enough water to drink.
“The stock will remain hydrated and healthy, and New Zealand’s environment will be protected as there’s no longer any need for cows to walk in, and pollute, our waterways.”
Shoof International has been in business since the 1970s and has invented or introduced over a dozen game-changing systems that are now common place on New Zealand farms.
Their developments include the first group-feeding of calves, first dry washing of udders, the first dairy effluent ponds, the first teat spraying system and the first pasture budgeting system. Their most famous product is the ‘shoof’ – a shoe for the hoof of lame dairy cows.
“We have a track record of finding solutions to common problems for New Zealand farmers,” Stubbs says. “Preventing waterway pollution is an issue facing farmers. When we saw this Grazing Pump in action we knew we had to bring it here – it’s exactly what’s needed on remote farm stations and is a simple, cost-effective answer.”