Herding is rearing livestock may evoke serene, calm, and picturesque images. But in reality, the situation is quite far from it. It is quite a challenge even for the best farmers, which is why they opt to use the best cattle prod.

Handling farm animals requires patience and skill. Cattle can be stubborn at times and have a great fear of predators which is why they need special attention. As a livestock owner, you need to be aware of both these factors as they will impact how well you are able to deal with the aggression of your animals while negating the threat of a strike.

Keeping in mind the difficulties of cattle rearing and the sensitivity that it requires, farmers have been using cattle prods of different forms for years to make things simpler for them. They’re designed to get the cattle going with a small shock without the dangers of long-term damage or discomfort.

Like all such farming and rearing tools, there have propped up a huge market for hot shot cattle prod. But, certain products truly stand apart from the rest. Here we mention five of the best prods that are available in the market today. Furthermore, to allow you to make an informed decision, we have also made available a thorough buyer’s guide. So, without further ado, let us get on with the best cattle prod reviews.

5 Best-Selling Cattle Prod

Here are the top five cattle prods that most farmers are gravitated towards, either because of the brand or the features available.

Magrath Hot Shot Prod

Coming in at the first place is a high-quality and reasonably priced cattle prod. Though Magrath is not the oldest company that has been in the industry, its products surely give one that impression. They work exclusively on animal care products paying special attention to commercial markets and have been doing so for the past 50 years.

At 34”, the electric cattle prod is long enough to provide a good amount of distance between the rancher and the cattle.  Its grooved body helps you find its switch just by feeling around with your fingers, even if you are wearing heavy gloves. Furthermore, the rubber insulation on the switch prevents any electric feedback from reaching your fingers.

If you ever find yourself near an aggressive animal, the prod will do its job and can provide a shock at 5500V, which is one of the strongest shocks we have ever seen. The prod runs on non-rechargeable and runs on batteries. Made of tough, highly durable plastic, it is truly one of a kind.

Pros:

  • Flexible shaft
  • Rubber insulated trigger
  • Can generate 5500V shocks
  • 34” shaft
  • Durable build

Cons:

  • Difficult to assemble

M.Z.A Livestock Electric 41.3” Cattle Prod

Next up, we have another premium cattle shocker from a well-known developer. The prod is made of high-quality ABS plastic which is very durable. It is operated by 4 C batteries, is shock- and moisture-proof, and quite sturdy.

The prod works extremely well to guide the cattle with slight shocks that are not at all harmful. This is because it provides great electrical conductivity with a low current.

The cattle prod is very easy and safe to use. To prevent any accidents, a piece of plastic is tied between the on/off button and the handle. This protects the button from being accidentally turned on and connecting to power when not in use.

The shaft is quite long at 41.3” and should provide sufficient distance between you and the cattle. All in all, this cattle prod is quite effective and provides ease of use for ranchers. It is also priced reasonably and is built to last for years.

Pros:

  • 3” long
  • Prevents accidental connections
  • Safe to use
  • Sturdy and Durable construction
  • Moisture proof

Cons:

  • Short battery life

M.Z.A Livestock 21.6” Electric Cattle Prod

Here we have yet another product by the famous M.Z.A. However, unlike our last entry, this one is a little on the shorter side and is ideal for those who like to operate from close proximity. If you’re looking for a small cattle prod, it’s not going to get any better than this.

The electric prod is made of durable ABS plastic which should enhance its longevity. The prod runs on 4 C batteries. It is also shock- and moisture-proof, as was the case with the previous M.Z.A. unit as well.

Here too you will find a plastic mechanism to keep the prod from being turned on accidentally. Make sure to remove this plastic piece before using the cattle prod. This ensures that you can safely transport and store this cattle prod without risking any shocks to yourself. Though its shaft is only at a 21.6”, which is what would attract many, it delivers slight shocks that are harmless to the cattle.

Pros:

  • Ideal for those looking at smaller shafts
  • ABS plastic construction
  • Moisture proof
  • Durable and Sturdy
  • Safe to use, transport, and store.

Cons:

  • Short battery life

Magrath Livestock Prod #22

Our penultimate product is the cousin of the first Magrath product we reviewed. It is much like its 34” counterpart though, obviously, shorter. This is designed to cater to those who need to get closer to the cattle and for whom prodding from afar is not viable.

It has a similar base, a grooved guide that will allow your fingers to find the switch even through a glove, and runs on 4 C batteries. Its precious, high-quality metal contacts prevent the unit from getting corroded and keep it fresh.

The shaft is flexible which ensures that it won’t break or snap easily. Here too you will find insulated switches to keep you protected from shocks. All the electronics inside are covered with water sealants that further keep it from getting short-circuited and, in turn, shocking yourself. This is a reliable cattle shocker that does its job with finesse and safety.

Pros:

  • Durable build
  • Ideal for use on smaller livestock or up close
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Grooved finger guide
  • Safe to use

Cons:

  • A little difficult to assemble

Hot-Shot DuraProd Electric Livestock Prod

Last, but not the least, on our list is an electric livestock prod from Hot-Shot. The company has been in the market for over 75 years, making it the oldest company on our list. Their products are some of the finest in the market, which are designed to be effective and safe. With this hot shot for cows, we get all that and more.

At 48”, the prod is the longest we have come across, though other lengths are also available from Hot-Shot. The company’s patented technology works to reduce feedback from the prod and keeps the user safe from shocks. Its circuitry is sealed which allows for consistent shock levels. It will not hurt your livestock, only guide them and overcome their persistent stubbornness.

The handle grip is made of rubber with an extra-large trigger so that users stay insulated and can find the switch with ease. Security is further promoted due to the built-in safety switch and the handguard. The C batteries are already included in the prod, which is a bonus.

Pros:

  • 48” shaft
  • Batteries included
  • Completely safe usage
  • Consistent shock levels
  • Rubberized handle grip

Cons:

  • Not very flexible

How to Use a Cattle Prod

Best Cattle Prod Buyer’s Guide

Now that we have reviewed the top five products in the market, let us take a look at some of the features that you should be on the lookout for before making a purchase.

Length

The length of the prod that you should get will be determined by your comfort levels with different levels of proximities to motivate an agitated animal. If you feel confident in your ability to control livestock from a close distance, then you don’t need to shell out the extra expense of getting a prod with a long shaft.

At the same time, it is important to know the limitations of the materials used. When shafts start to get longer than 40”, there is a chance of their collapsing under their weight. Getting a stiffer shaft, on the other hand, might run the danger of snapping.

Stiff vs. Flexible Shaft

Flexible shafts may lead to a mental impediment for the cattle. While herding, it doesn’t put pressure on the cattle which means the cattle cannot expect a shock. This may lead to an uncertainty within the cattle.

With stiff shafts, the cattle learn to expect a shock only when the prod reaches a certain pressure, and to move and stop when required. This is not possible with flexible shafts. But, on the other hand, flexible shafts are not as expensive and are less likely to break. They are also made of rubber compared to fiberglass that stiffer shafts are made of.

Handguard and Safety Features

It is always great to have some insulation between you and the trigger which prevents you from accidentally shocking yourself. For better safety, mechanisms to keep water out and prevent it from damaging the circuitry or getting into the handle are important considerations that you should make. This will not only increase your prod’s longevity but also ensure your safety.

Another safety feature that you can look out for is the cut-off safety which keeps the prod from getting turned on accidentally during transportation or storage.

Battery Life

Though most prods do not mention how long the batteries will allow it to run, the general rule of thumb remains – ones with more battery life will run for longer periods. The basic models run on 2 or 4 C batteries. These provide reasonable battery, and affordable and simple to replace. Some other models come with rechargeable batteries that decent capacity and quick recharging. Both work just fine and you should know what would work best for you.

Durability and Build

The build quality and durability of the prod is an important consideration to make. You wouldn’t want to get a prod that comes apart in a few months. Sometimes, a cattle stick or a prod is used in very rugged situations and can be susceptible to breakage if dropped, smashed, or used in any other unseemly way.

To avoid such breakage, it is important to look for a product that can sustain such damages. Choose a prod that is tough and has a solid build, but one that you can afford.

Material

Given the fact that a vast majority of cattle prod products are manufactured by a few companies, there is little difference between the products when compared to other product types. Having said that, it is nevertheless crucial that you must find out which of them is the most powerful cattle prod and which will suit your needs. The best way to do so is to identify which material is used for their build. Some of these are mentioned below:

Fiberglass

Contrary to popular belief, fiberglass is closer to plastic than it is to glass even though it contains both of these materials. Fiberglass consists of an industrial-grade plastic base with fine glass fibers woven through it in various arrangements. Such a composition is what gives fiberglass its stiffness in addition to slight flexibility. Thus, it is not going to snap easily if mishandled. However, fiberglass is not the most durable material in colder weather and climate.

Steel

Even though Steel may seem at first to be the best cattle prod material, it is not used as one might imagine. Even though it can be used for conductivity or as the frame (since it is a very strong material), steel is mainly used for shaft reinforcements.

As such, steel is used in a way similar to how glass is fused with plastic in fiberglass. What’s surprising is that steel, given its molecular structure, is actually much more flexible than glass which is why it is used for providing additional flexibility as well as durability.

Rubber

The main use of rubber in cattle prods is as an insulator. Rubber doesn’t allow electrical conductivity, making it safer for the user to use the prod and to keep from accidental shocks. At the same time, rubber is also used as shafts by blending with steel threads. This ensures flexibility as well as durability.

One thing that you should note that rubber is an organic material and needs to be maintained. If the rubber gets wet, it will become susceptible to rot.

ABS

ABS is a kind of plastic that is used in cattle prods. Most of the cattle prods that will find in the market are bound to have ABS construction. Although it is still a ‘plastic’, it is of a much higher quality than what you would be used to.

It is so strong and durable that it is even used by NASA. It then becomes easy to understand why it would be used in the handle construction of the prod. ABS is also waterproof and doesn’t react with chemicals, which is why it remains unaffected by temperature changes and extremes.

Copper

Though it is the least used material in cattle prods, it is still going to be present in most prods. Copper is the one most conductive metal there is in the world and is used to make the contact point of the cattle prod.

Do keep in mind that some prods will try to use copper alloys or even just a copper-plated contact to drive down the price. These are usually sub-par in quality which is evident in the quick-wear of the contact point. There may even be problems with the solid contact which beats the purpose of an electric cattle prod.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here, we will answer the most commonly asked questions regarding cattle prods.

What batteries are used in cattle prods?
Most cattle prods use C batteries. Some products come with batteries, while others will require you to purchase them separately.

Can a cattle prod be used to ward off wild dogs?
Yes, cattle prods can be used on wild dogs or while breaking up fights. The current is low enough as not to harm them but will break the drive to attack.

Can I use cattle prods on people?
No, cattle prods should never be used on people as this constitutes torture.

Conclusion

Choosing the right cattle prod from amongst hundreds of products in the market is no easy task. Hopefully, through this article, you now have sufficient understanding about the best products and can make an informed decision. The buyer’s guide should assist you further in your search.

Always remember to use cattle prod with its contact point on the upper rear leg or the rear flank of the animal. You should also be wary of over-shocking or over-prodding. Although the shock from the prod phases out quickly and there is no mental anguish that occurs, use it sparingly. Do not agitate an animal unnecessarily and allow it to calm down. It can take as much as 30 minutes for an excited animal to calm down.

When considering the best cattle prod, you must ensure certain aspects such as durability, safety, and the required length of shaft meet your needs. If you find that you might have to spend a little extra to get these features, it is advisable to do so since these aspects are necessary to have. These will not only ensure that you get a product that will last long, but also one that can be used with complete safety and assurance.

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