Cattle prods have been around for roughly 100 years now and their application has been unchanged since first introduced.
Cattle prods are used to deal with stubborn, aggressive animals, especially livestock. Having the best cattle prod is an essential tool for all farmers and ranchers.
Built to ensure safety, prods are meant to be painless, not causing any long-term harm to the cattle, they are easy to use and don’t need much experience or knowledge to handle.
In this post, we have found and featured the 7 best cattle prods, highlighting what each one is best, and what to look out for.
Table of Contents
- Top 7 Best Cattle Prods on the Market 2022
- In-depth 7 Best Cattle Prod Reviews
- #1. Strongest Cattle Prod: Miller HOT-SHOT DX36
- #2. Best Rechargeable Cattle Prod: HOT-SHOT HS2000
- #3. Most Powerful Cattle Prod: Magrath Yellow Handle Swine Prod
- #4. Best Durable Prod: Magrath Hot Shot Yellow Handle Cattle Prod – New 34″ Shaft
- #5. Best Lightweight Prod: Parker McCrory S29 29″ Master Stock Prod
- #6. Best Budget Cattle Prod: SHZICMY 8000V Electric Rechargeable Hand Prod Shock
- #7. Best Clog-Free Prod: Nasco Springer Magrath C30361N Battery-Operated Cattle Prod
- What To Consider When Buying A Cattle Prod?
- How To Use A Cattle Prod Correctly?
- FAQs about Cattle Prod
- 1. Can you use a cattle prod on a human?
- 2. Is a cattle prod good for self-defense?
- 3. Would a cattle prod kill a dog?
- 4. Are electric cattle prods illegal?
- 5. How bad does a cattle prod hurt?
- 6. What is the voltage of a cattle prod?
- 7. Who invented the hotshot?
- 8. How many volts do you need to keep cows in?
- 7. Is 1 Joule enough for cattle?
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Top 7 Best Cattle Prods on the Market 2022
In-depth 7 Best Cattle Prod Reviews
#1. Strongest Cattle Prod: Miller HOT-SHOT DX36
This is by far one of the strongest cattle prods on the market in my opinion.
HOT-SHOT DX36 from Miller Mfg Co includes patented feedback shock reduction technology, which not many products implement.
This prod also has enclosed circuitry, a sturdy handguard, a rubber grip to minimize fatigue, and a large trigger for an easy solid press.
Its built-in safety switch to prevent unwanted zap is one of our favorites.
We all need it since no one wants to accidentally shock themself while holding a prod.
The DX36 model comes with a snap-on battery pack (included) for easy battery replacement without any tools.
The 36-inch fiberglass shaft length is quite durable and has ideal reachability.
You might be surprised to know that some owners did not have to actually touch their livestock.
This prod emits a high pitch sound that is quite imitating even from a short distance away.
#2. Best Rechargeable Cattle Prod: HOT-SHOT HS2000
Another well-manufactured product from Miller Mfg Co. is the HOT-SHOT HS2000.
The Green One is a rechargeable battery-operated livestock prod that delivers outstanding efficiency in all conditions, particularly on wet animals.
It comes with a permanently sealed maintenance-free motor that keeps dust and water away.
The shaft is 48-inch interchangeable fiberglass, which is quite long and comes with a protective clip that prevents accidental discharge.
This one is probably the best cattle prod for self-defense, from animals and from the prod itself as well.
If you prefer charging, rather than replacing batteries, this prod is for you.
It has a rechargeable battery pack that can be recharged around 300-500 times and comes with a Latigo carrying strap that is included.
#3. Most Powerful Cattle Prod: Magrath Yellow Handle Swine Prod
Coming from Springer Magrath, a company with more than 50 years of experience in providing products of animal care, this product is one of the most powerful cattle prods on the market.
This prod for cattle has a solid-state electronic system with no moving parts to wear out or replace.
It also has a finger guide that helps you to feel the switch, even with thick gloves on, and the switch is coated with rubber to avoid electrical feedback.
Running on 4 C batteries and releasing around 5500 kV of shock, the battery contacts are also made of refined metals to resist rust and utilizes strong coil springs to maintain firm contact with the battery.
One cool feature of this prod is after the release of the button, it still stores 1 shock in the shaft. It has a 22-inch shaft that for me is quite short. I assume this thing is for experienced ranchers.
#4. Best Durable Prod: Magrath Hot Shot Yellow Handle Cattle Prod – New 34″ Shaft
Yet another product of Springer Magrath, this prod shares a lot of similar specs with the previous prod at #3.
Sharing almost the same design means this prod inherits a lot of good stuff from the previous.
This one also has a fairly solid build and is molded from a sturdy structural grade, high-impact plastic material, with rust-resistant battery contacts and a rubber-coated trigger.
The 34-inch shaft is also a flexible type that allows you to operate confidently. A longer shaft means you can keep your distance while still in full control of your cattle.
#5. Best Lightweight Prod: Parker McCrory S29 29″ Master Stock Prod
This prod has solid-state circuitry, featuring zero moving parts that are good for resisting dust and moisture, hence preventing accidental shock.
Also built with instant-on technology, this cattle prod delivers an effective and safe shock, eliminating the need to wait for a motor to spin up.
It might be the most battery economy on the list using only 2 C cell batteries (included).
Additionally, provided its quite short 29-inch shaft, the Parma Master Stock Prod is specifically designed for close applications, such as chute loading.
Unfortunately, low-cost built comes with lower quality, this prod is not the most durable on the list and it might break quite easily when dropped, cracking the internal electrical part and causing it to stop working.
#6. Best Budget Cattle Prod: SHZICMY 8000V Electric Rechargeable Hand Prod Shock
If you are looking for the cheapest prod for cattle, this is the one.
Made of engineered plastic, this prod offers promising shockproof, moisture resistance, and enhanced durability.
It has a non-slip design enabling a comfortable grip with a safety switch and button clip preventing unintended shock.
The battery is also rechargeable with an included charging cable.
Although not the best cattle prod, this one is probably the best budget prod on the list. But with a 22-inch flexible shaft, this prod might not be made for inexperienced ranchers.
#7. Best Clog-Free Prod: Nasco Springer Magrath C30361N Battery-Operated Cattle Prod
This is a prod with a clog-free, no-ground tip. The strong flexible 22-inch shaft can bend to a 90-degree angle even in cold weather and revert to its original form.
This prod has a solid-state electronic system designed to transmit a very low current to an animal with a strong instant jolt so there is no danger of harming you or your livestock.
The prod case is also made from high-impact yellow plastic.
You should note that it still stores one more shock after releasing the fingertip switch (like the #3 prod on this list). So, be careful not to shock yourself in the next use.
Weighing 2.75 pounds with a shaft length of just 22 inches, this prod is the shortest yet heaviest on the list, making it quite uncomfortable for women users.
What To Consider When Buying A Cattle Prod?
The most common cattle prod length on the market today is between 24-36 inches so the length is the first consideration when choosing a cattle prod.
Based on the distance you want to contact the animals from, you can select a cattle prod with an appropriate length.
An ideal length prod will ensure that the distance between you and the flock is not too close or too far.
The proper length also helps cattle from becoming too scared while ensuring your safety when dealing with large animals such as buffaloes and cows.
2. Stiff Rod Or Flexible Rod
Generally, the rod is the most important part of a cattle prod. When choosing a stiff or flexible rod, you need to consider many factors.
A flexible rod is usually made of rubber while a stiff rod is usually made of fiberglass.
A flexible one is often cheaper and less likely to break than a stiffer one with the same features.
3. Safety Features
The cattle prod generates an electric current when activated, so in some cases, it may accidentally shock the user.
To prevent this, selecting a cattle prod with safety features for the user will be the best option.
These features include rubber handles triggers to limit conductivity, and even a closed-circuit design to limit water leakage, causing electric shock.
A cut-off safety feature to prevent the user from mistakenly pressing the activation button will partly reduce the risks of using the tool as well.
4. Battery Life
Battery life is also a factor to decide whether a cattle prod is good or not. Currently, these products use two main types of batteries.
One type is a rechargeable battery with a fairly large capacity, allowing you to easily recharge multiple times.
The other is a basic battery like 2 or 4C which is often cheaper but often has a decent battery life and can be flexibly replaced when the battery runs out.
Since using any type of battery is quite convenient and effective, there is no big difference between these two types.
Depending on your needs and preferences, you should choose the most suitable battery option for yourself.
The cattle prod is mostly used in rough and dirty environments and can be easily damaged if it is kicked, crushed, or dropped while you contact the animals.
Therefore, choose the toughest and most durable cattle prod so you can use it for a longer time and save more money in the long-run.
Another way to find out what type of cattle prod is right for you is to look at their material.
Fiberglass has features of both glass and plastic as it contains both materials.
People often use an industrial-grade plastic base, then the glass fibers are arranged and woven through the base. With such composition and construction, it retains hardness while still ensuring flexibility.
In fact, fiberglass is a very durable material, especially in cold weather.
Instead of being used in conductors for their electrical conductivity, steel is used differently in prods as it is used to reinforce the shafts in cattle prods.
Steel is also used similarly as glass is woven into the plastic to form fiberglass. Due to its molecular structure, steel is an excellent material with strength and flexibility, making it an ideal material for your cattle prod.
In cattle prods, the rubber is used primarily as an insulator to protect the user against accidental electric shock.
Rubber is also commonly used in the shaft part of the cattle prod and is blended with steel fibers to give product flexibility, ensuring that the cattle prod is still durable enough to cling to the cattle.
Rubber is an organic material, hence, it can become rotten in a wet environment or if not stored carefully.
ABS is an extremely durable material, water-resistant, not reactive with other substances, and less affected by temperature. For these traits, ABS is often used in the handle of the cattle prod.
ABS is a special plastic, so it has many superior properties over conventional ones, making it an ideal material for a cattle prod.
Among the materials used, copper is less commonly used in cattle prods.
The only reason for not being used as often is, ironically, because of its excellent electrical conductivity.
In fact, the electrical conductivity of copper goes beyond simple wiring. Therefore, it is used as a contact in cattle prod.
Besides, copper is also a material with good durability. A cattle prod with copper contact ensures its durability and avoids terminal wear and loss of electrical charge.
How To Use A Cattle Prod Correctly?
The cattle prod is designed with the switches set to the high or low level. For small animals, you should turn to the lowest charged setting.
The usage of a cattle prod is quite simple. Put the contact point of the prod on the upper rear legs or rear flank of the animal.
Once in the proper spot, lightly press and then release the power button to shock the animals with just enough current.
To use a cattle prod in a safe and effective way, you should observe the following:
- Do not shock the animal when it is wet as this can increase the intensity of electric shock on the animal.
- Do not use cattle prod for continuous electric stimulation on the same animal.
- Do not shock in sensitive and vulnerable parts of the animal such as the genitals, face, udder, or anal area.
- Do not use electric cattle prod for calves or small animals under 3 months of age. It is better to move them directly by hand.
- Do not overdo the cattle prod as it will cause stress and fear in your herds.
Although cattle prods are useful, they should only be used as the last method for your herd. Everything is better when handled gently and calmly.
If cattle prod assistance is required, you must select an instrument that is suitable for your herd.
This allows you to shape your animals without getting too scared or hurting them.
FAQs about Cattle Prod
1. Can you use a cattle prod on a human?
The answer is YES because cattle prods don’t cause electrical currents strong enough to cause severe damage to the human body.
To make it easy to imagine, the cattle prod was the forerunner of the stun gun. However, the amount of voltage the cattle prod releases is not enough to put humans in a critical situation.
That said, no one wants to experience the discomfort of being stung by electricity, so think twice!
2. Is a cattle prod good for self-defense?
If you need to defend yourself in an emergency, a cattle prod is not an intelligent choice.
Although it can discharge electricity, its primary purpose is only to control the herd.
Furthermore, you can only use an electric cattle prod at a small distance.
Speaking of self-defense, you should first learn about the skills and then look to more reliable self-defense weapons to defend yourself from in a small space.
For self-defense purposes, a stun gun is a suggestion because of its compactness and convenience, and pepper spray can help also.
3. Would a cattle prod kill a dog?
The current from an electric cattle prod is not enough to kill a dog, but do not try this as cattle prods are not intended for dogs.
An electric shock can make your dog more obedient if you sting correctly. However, with some aggressive breeds, the use of cattle prod can also make them angrier and cause them to bite you.
In some countries, police may notice if you carry a cattle prod around dogs.
Using cattle prods also won’t be too effective if the dog has long, protective fur. So if you want to defend yourself against dogs, find another option.
4. Are electric cattle prods illegal?
In certain areas like Baltimore and Baltimore County, stun guns are illegal.
However, we don’t have any specifics for electric cattle prods yet.
Although many people were apprehensive about electroshock devices, cattle prods have been legally sold in the US for decades.
Always check your local and state rules and laws.
5. How bad does a cattle prod hurt?
Have you ever been electrocuted? The pain a cattle prod brings is similar to being shocked by a low-powered electrical source.
You will feel a sudden jolt or a little bit of pain, and some say it is like a cramp.
However, that pain goes away as soon as you no longer touch the cattle prod. Also, it causes no long-term damage to the muscles or systems in the body.
6. What is the voltage of a cattle prod?
The voltage of a cattle prod depends on the manufacturer’s design. Most cattle prods will have a voltage of no more than 9 volts and 20ma.
Of course, 9 volts is a low voltage. However, it is enough to cause significant pain in both animals and humans with extended use, so use it with care.
7. Who invented the hotshot?
The first versions of the hotshot-electric cattle prods were available in 1917.
However, it was not until the 1930s that rumors spread about the inventor of the hotshot.
The father of the electric cattle prod is said to be a baron from Texas – Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. of the King Ranch.
8. How many volts do you need to keep cows in?
You need a fence between 2,000 and 3,000 volts to keep cows in and contained.
In the winter, aim for 4,000 volts to accommodate thicker coats and closer to 2,000 in the summer.
7. Is 1 Joule enough for cattle?
1 Joule output per mile of fence is enough for cattle, regardless of how many wire strands make up your fence.
Choosing the best cattle prod out of hundreds online might take forever but we’ve got you covered.
Because of the specific details discussed above, you can make your own choice for the best that fits your needs.
In our view, the best cattle prod is the first one mentioned on our list – the Miller HOT-SHOT DX36.
This one has a combination of good features like patented shock-reduction tech, excellent handling, and well-made material. Manufactured by a company with 79 years experienced, it is hard to go wrong with the HOT-SHOT DX36.
If your top priority is self-defense, then the #2 HOT-SHOT HS2000 Rechargeable Green Livestock Prod is for you.
Aside from all the safety features, it has the longest shaft at 48 inches with a durable design and powerful discharge, enough to keep your distance while remaining effective.
If you still want a fine prod that won’t hurt your wallet, the #6 SHZICMY 8000V Electric Rechargeable Hand Prod Shock is a no-brainer.