Practice Tip: The Shedding Blade

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Published on: June 26, 2012

“Practice Tip” is a new segment where practitioners can share a helpful tip, tool, shortcut, or process that they feel helps increase efficiency or decreases cost in their ET business.  In order to keep the Practice Tip segment alive and continual, we will implement a “tagging” system where the practitioner offering each tip will “tag” the next practitioner to provide the following newsletter’s tip.


This newsletter’s tip:      The Shedding Blade by Jon Schmidt


The shedding blade is a tool used by many of us at Trans Ova to clean the vulva and peri-vulvar area of manure and debris and prepare this area for flushing or transfer.  It has two edges, one side with short, rounded “teeth” that can be used for removing stubborn, chunky debris and another side that is smooth for making the final prep.  Using the flat edge as a “squeegee” typically does a good enough job of preparing the vulva that a paper towel is not usually necessary unless there is manure or debris up and inside the vulvar lips.  We have found the shedding blade to be much faster and effective at preparing the vulvar lips for entry with a catheter or transfer gun and it significantly decreases the amount of paper towels used, thus making it a “greener” alternative.  In addition to the shedding blade we also carry a hook (“Monster Hook”) so we can hang the shedding blade it in a convenient place on the chute wherever we are working.  You can also use this hook on your belt to hang the blade if you are transferring along headlocks in a dairy.  These hooks can be found at most large chain home improvement stores and are commonly used to hang drills, etc on a workman’s tool belt.  An alternative to the hook would be to find a loose piece of wire on a gate somewhere at the ranch and bend it around a chute pipe to create your own hook.  One bit of caution…these are easy to forget when packing up at the end of the day and several have been left on chutes at various farms/ranches along the way, so it’s always best to carry two just in case.


Cost                       $7.99

Where to find         QC Supply

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