Jerry Morgenstern of Hoisington, Kan., sent the photo for the more recent “What’s This?”
“It is a calf weaner found in an abandoned farmstead,” he wrote with his submission. “Had to research it on the internet to identify it.”
Sometimes a calf is quite persistent and continues to nurse long after it should be weaned, he explained. “Rather than keeping the calf and its mother in separate pastures, a calf weaner could be attached to the calf’s nose. The weaner had sharp spikes sticking out from it that would cause the cow to kick the calf and keep it away.”
About the only difference among the responses was what the spikes irritated more: the cow or the calf. And it wasn’t always a calf.
Here are the responses:
This week ‘What’s This?’ could be a calf weaner known and used by dairymen the world over. It cures a calf’s sucking habit without injury. The chain or a strap would fasten it to a calf and little prongs would touch the calf head when trying to nurse. Mama cow would not like this either. Marlin Perks, Stockville, Neb.
I believe it is a “calf weaner” that you put on the calf’s head and then they can’t reach the teat and if they try, the cow is poked by the points and she’ll kick. Arnie Wulf, Sioux Falls, S.D.
That and a few different versions were used to wean calves and maybe an older calf from sucking. The harder they tried, the harder the points stuck in their nose. Glen Schweppe, Syracuse, Neb.
My Grand Dad called it a blab. You put it on a milk cow so she would not suck the other milk cows in the herd. Ted Bedient, Hemingford Neb.;
That device looks like it could be hung by the chain over a fence crawling cow’s neck to dissuade it from pushing through a fence. We have a couple of devices like that, but they are a different design. The premise is when the cow pushes through a fence the protrusions push back and thereby poke the cow in the neck and hopefully they get the idea that it hurts and back up. Knowing cows that is not a guarantee! We’ve never used ours, but they are still out there in the barn with some other antiques. Duane Oquist, Osceola, Neb.
Used on a cow to keep her from sucking on another cow ... chain slips over her nose, metal fits over her nose. Jack Buckley, Harrison, Neb.
I’ve seen it prevent a 2,000-pound bull from sucking on a cow. Vernon Schultz, Wisner, Neb.
Others with the “calf weaner” response:
Stan Shavlik, Linwood, Neb.; Claron Holscher, Cook, Neb.; Larry Marsh, Ord, Neb.; Richard Johnson, Ayr, Neb; Jim Stanczyk, Ashton, Neb.; Gary Cooper, Fontanelle, Iowa; Terry Esfeld, Great Bend, Kan.; Gary Froetschner, Garfield, Kan.; Sarah Jameson, Amherst, Neb.; Vern Keuck, Denison, Iowa; Kermit Smith, Eustis, Neb.; Ray Lindhorst, Lindsay, Neb.; Marleen Mauch Herbolsheimer, Scribner, Neb.; Darlene Zalesky, Wilber, Neb.; Dan Connell, Tryon, Neb.; Ron Dostal, Howells, Neb.; Bill Johnson, Leshara, Neb.; Robert Campbell, Neola, Iowa; Hugo Dittmer, Shelby Iowa; James L. Elder Sr., Marsland, Neb.; Willard Horak, Schuyler, Neb.; Rod Hollman, Martell, Neb.; Ang Nickolite, Bellwood, Neb.; Phil Brown, Clay Center, Kan.; Joe Murnane, Girard, Kan.; Gerard Weber, Princeton, Kan.; George Perlinger, Elsie, Neb.