A Lisburn service engineer has produced a new transistorised pig goad which, he claims, represents a marked technological advance on any other model at present on the market in the United Kingdom.
Inventor of the new goad, Mr Brian Robinson, of 18 Mandeville Avenue, Hillhall Road, told FarmWeek: “For hardiness and absolute reliability this model beats hands down anything previously produced.
“The big problem with the goads currently being used is their vulnerability to attack from corrosive agents like sweat, urine or even water.
“Indeed, I know from experience that goads at present being used by bacon factories in Northern Ireland have to be discarded after three or four weeks continuous use because of this.”
Mr Robinson’s invention had the advantage of being made out of solid plastic, reinforced with glass-fibre for waterproofing and robustness.
“It is practically impossible to damage or break them in everyday use around the farm,” he pointed out.
“The model runs on two 1½ volt batteries – these could last the farmer anything up to a year – and a three months guarantee comes with each one.”
So far only a limited number of the goads have been produced but many of these are already being used by local bacon factories. Initial results have certainly been “very encouraging,” he said.
The goad produces a current of around 100 volts and this, Mr Robinson claims, is sufficient to deal with even the most obstinate pig. Cattle might, he said, require a slightly more powerful current “but it would be a fairly easy task for me to modify the goad to suit”.
A native of London, it has taken Mr Robinson some 2½ years to develop the goad but he hopes to go into organised and regular production within a short time.
The goad at present costs around £5 and can be supplied to order in the space of about a week.