Cattle clippers are heavy-duty clippers that are generally used to remove the excess hair from show cattle. They may also be used to prepare a place on an animal for surgery or freeze branding. These clippers come in different sizes and with various features, but the typically all share a few things in common, such as a sturdy housing and interchangeable blades. They are available in both plug-in and rechargeable styles.
When showing cattle, it is important that the animal look its best, and a smooth, sleek appearance is part of that. Judges can get a good look at the movement and musculature of properly trimmed cattle. Animals with slight imperfections can be trimmed in such a way that their shortcomings are less obvious, giving them a better chance of winning. Cattle clippers are an important tool for show preparation.
Getting cattle ready for show can be an exacting task, especially when the competition is tough. Using cattle clippers to smooth the body of a cow, bull or steer helps to neaten the animal’s overall appearance. The effect can be greatly enhanced by using clippers with interchangeable blades, switching from one type to another as the grooming progresses. This creates a blended look, letting the coat look finished rather than choppy. Most cattle clippers intended for use on show animals have a range of blades available for them, from those that cut very short to others that barely remove any hair at all.
Since cattle are liable to move suddenly, possibly causing the groomer to drop the grooming tools, cattle clippers are typically made with very tough, shatter-resistant housings. The motor and inner workings of the clippers are usually shock resistant, giving the clippers a better chance to survive a fall. Cattle clippers also usually have some type of a textured grip, making it easier to hold onto them even when working on wiggling livestock. Clippers with cords work well to clip large animals, but cordless, rechargeable clippers are preferred by some.
In addition to their uses for grooming show animals, cattle clippers are used to prepare animals for a number of different procedures. When fitted with blades that cut very short, almost to the skin, the clippers can be used to prepare an area for surgery. Removing all the hair helps the veterinarian keep the area clean and makes an infection less likely. Another common procedure, freeze branding, has replaced the old-style branding that requires burning cattle with a hot iron. Before an animal can be freeze-branded, however, short-cutting cattle clippers are used to remove all hair.