How to choose the best cattle hair remover for your needs

How to choose the best cattle hair remover for your needs
1 February 2024 Philippe Guilbert

Selecting the appropriate thermal hair remover for your dairy cows is essential for simplifying and enhancing the comfort of the milking process. Gas-powered devices offer significant autonomy and time-saving benefits compared to shaving udders.

Why choose thermal hair removal?

Thermal hair removal from cattle and goat udders presents several advantages:

  • It allows the milking machine to adhere better to the teats, the lower part of the cow’s udder.
  • It improves hygiene and significantly reduces the risk of bovine mastitis.
  • It is quicker and more effective than shaving.
  • It prevents hair from clogging the milking machine’s teat brushes, thereby reducing the frequency of maintenance and avoiding potential damage to bearings and motors.

Guaranteed speed with a gas-powered thermal hair remover

Speed is a key factor in choosing a thermal hair remover. The ideal device should be able to treat an animal in less than 10 seconds. For a herd of about a hundred cattle, you would need approximately twenty minutes for complete hair removal. Given that herds typically require dehairing 5 to 6 times annually, comparative studies have shown that using a thermal hair remover can save a farmer around a hundred hours per year.

Piezo ignition of the epilator

Piezo ignition is highly recommended for its convenience. It allows for easy turning on of the device with a trigger press. This feature also enables you to switch it off when moving between animals, reducing stress for the animals at the sight of the flame, conserving gas, and enhancing device autonomy.

Autonomy of the gas thermal hair remover

Gas thermal hair removers produce a yellow, low-oxygen “cold” or “soft” flame. They run on butane-propane gas, emitting very moderate heat barely noticeable to the animal. The gas cartridge should be integrated into the epilator, not a separate cylinder, for ease of moving between animals. When choosing a thermal hair remover, verify the autonomy provided by the manufacturer. Ideally, your cartridge should allow for at least one hour of operation, sufficient for two depilations of a 100-cow herd, equating to the use of three gas cartridges annually. Some models offer up to 2 hours of autonomy.

Lance length and shape

The thermal hair remover should be usable in any position and location, be it the milking parlor or barn, regardless of your height relative to the animals. Consider your working style and farm layout to choose the most suitable lance. Options include:

  1. A straight lance, ideal for the milking parlor.
  2. An angled lance, offering greater maneuverability in the barn.
  3. An angled lance with a joint, allowing angle adjustments for versatility in both settings.

Thermal epilator weight

The weight of the thermal epilator is the final consideration. A lighter device is easier to handle and saves more time. Moreover, if you’re treating all your livestock in one session, a lightweight epilator can help prevent musculoskeletal disorders.