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The Tailwell tail trimmer was developed in New Zealand by Mr Ian Saywell to simplify the tedious job of trimming tails of milking cows. The need for tail trimming came about after minimal standards for on-farm procedures were tightened in 2006 with tail docking becoming illegal in cattle. This minimum standard was introduced into the Animal Welfare (Painful Husbandry Procedures Code of Welfare 2005) to reduce animal discomfort which was caused by docking of tails.

Tail trimming is carried out to reduce faecal and urine contamination of the VAT, and to reduce dirt around the rear quarters and udder of the cow. It is recommended that tail trimming is carried out twice per year to ensure milker safety and highest milk quality.

The Tailwell power tail trimmer is secured by way of the chuck shank into any suitable cordless drill of 14 volts or better, and operating at approx 1,000rpm. Tailwell is quiet in use, with a smooth and fast cutting action. Trimming takes only 3 or 4 seconds per tail, and is easily accomplished during milking. The outer blade oscillates over a stationary inner blade, so there is no risk of injury to the cow. Even dirty dag-ends feed smoothly over the trimmer. Pre-cutting the tail’s switch is not necessary. This is a sturdy precision tool that will withstand considerable use. A neck strap is incorporated so the device can be hands-free between cows. Replacement blade sets are available.

The blades must be well lubricated. See the section on maintenance for details.

Pre-cutting of the tail switch is not necessary, even if it is very dirty. A trimming collection apron is available as an accessory and is used to prevent trimmings blocking pit drainage.

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