WATCH: A restraining hook


James Foley - from Cahirciveen in South-West Kerry on the Iveragh Peninsula - has created a restraining hook.

The product – which is aimed at all farmers and all farming systems - is used to restrain and distract an animal while being orally dosed, bolused or injected in a safe, humane manner.

“The restraining hook can be used by anyone and makes the job of catching and restraining an animal easier on the farmer as well as the animal.” James Foley told Catherina Cunnane – That’s Farming.

How does it work?

James said that this time-saving product eliminates the need for every animal to be put through a headgate.

“The product works on the basis of the ball of the hook slipping under the lip of the animal and sitting on their tongue.”

“While the animal is chewing on the hook, they are distracted and the operator can safely carry out the task in hand be it oral dosing, bolusing or injecting,” James explained.

Idea Generation

James hails from a small suckler-beef farm where he breeds pedigree Herefords to sell to the dairy market and runs a dairy calf-to-beef system.

He worked with ABS Ireland for over six years before he moved to fill a full-time position with Animax four years ago. It was through this role - marketing and selling trace elements boluses for cattle and sheep – that he discovered a need for a restraining hook.

“Every animal had to be put through a headgate and bolused one-by-one – a slow, labour-intensive and time-consuming process.”

“At times, my colleagues and I used the hook drencher attachment to catch animals but found that strong powerful cows often bent the hook.”

Developing the product

The idea for this hook was born over four different prototypes – experimenting with different lengths, curves and ball sizes and liaising with different farmers and colleagues.

James eventually settled on a hook that is 18-inches in length with a knurled handle that is 5-inches long and curved at both ends to prevent injury.

The hook is made from a stainless-steel bar to prevent rust and to make it easy to clean and disinfect after use.

“The hook itself is different to the hook drencher that has a straight bend; this is curved in two different directions.”

“It is curved back at the start of the hook to allow the operator to work easily if the animal is turning away at an angle".

“The curve kicks out at the end to allow the ball slip easily into the animal's mouth without injury.” He added.

Product Availability

The restraining hook can be purchased directly from James and a number of outlets; it costs €40 (which includes postage and packaging).

More Information

Contact James – Phone: 0861956617 or email - foleyjames129@gmail.com.

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