The Best Cattle Prod of 2018 | Reviews and Guide

Cattle Herd1

​Cattle prods have been used in some form or another for ​many years now. They are very effective when dealing with and controlling large herds of cattle such as cows. They're designed in a way that ensures they're safe and won't cause any discomfort or long-term damage to the cattle. They're ​pretty simple to use and require no skill or expertise to operate. They work by giving the target animal a small electrical shock that encourages them to keep walking in the direction you wish them to go.

There are plenty of different prods on the market today, but we've narrowed down a list of the 5 very best cattle prods to spend your money on. Let our buying guide help you pick the right model for ​controlling your cattle ​​in a safe and easy way.

Top 5 Rated Comparison Table

​Reviews of the Best Cattle Prods of 2018


​#1. Miller DX36 Livestock Feeding Equipment

The Miller DX36 is one of the best livestock prods out there – hence why it’s so much more expensive than some other models. At 36” long, it’s long enough to never get too close to large, unruly bulls, and the shaft is made from rigid fiberglass – which can be switched out if necessary, like other models.

The DX36 uses a patented sealed circuitry to reduce any feedback shock, and a host of built-in safety features – oversized trigger, hand guard, a built-in safety switch to prevent accidentally shocking things (or people, or animals). It also uses a snap-on battery pack to make switching out batteries quick and easy, though it still runs on the same 4 C batteries.

Overall, not much not to like about the Miller DX36 Prod. It’s more expensive than other models, but we think it’s worth the extra price thanks to its fiberglass construction, sealed, quality build, and safety features.


Pros

  • 36” long
  • Ultra-durable
  • Sealed circuits. No Feedback.
  • Built-in safety switch, features
  • Snap-on battery pack
  • Fiberglass (replaceable) shaft

Cons

  • Expensive


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​#2. ​Magrath Hot Shot Prod Yellow

The Magrath Hot Shot is a high-quality cattle prod at a decent price. At 34” long, it’s long enough to give a good distance between the cattle and the rancher. The Magrath Hot Shot line has been around for over 50 years and is a well-known name in the ranching industry, so you know you’re getting a high-quality product.

It has a grooved finger guide that helps you find the switch just by feel, even with heavy gloves on, and the switch is insulated with rubber to prevent any feedback from the electric prod feeding to your fingers. The battery contacts are made from precious metals to prevent corrosion, and they use heavy coil springs to ensure firm battery contact. It’s all encases in a tough, durable plastic. And, it runs on 4 C batteries.

Some users have complained that the cattle prod is relatively weak and does not work well on especially large livestock; in fact, it’s weak enough that you can use it on much smaller animals if necessary.

Overall, however, the Magrath Hot Shot 34” is a quality prod that doesn’t break the bank.


Pros

  • ​Durable build
  • 34” length is good for large animals without getting too close
  • Precious-metal contacts prevent corrosion
  • Grooved finger guide for feeling switch

Cons

  • ​Weak shock; not good for larger livestock


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​#3. ​​Magrath Livestock Prod Yellow #22

​The HotShot 22” is much like it’s 34” cousin above but – obviously – 12” shorter. It has the same base, with a grooved finger guide, runs off the same has 4 C batteries, and has high-quality, precious metal contacts that resist corrosion and keep it running fresh.

The shaft on the HotShot 22” is also flexible, which keeps it from snapping or breaking when under stress. Like the other HotShot models, it has an insulated switch to keep you from shocking yourself. And, the electronics inside are covered in a sealant that prevents water from getting in, shorting the circuits or causing you to shock yourself.

One main complaint with the HotShot prods, however, is the battery life. They have been known to run out and die after just a few uses, despite running off 4 large C batteries. It would be nice to have longer battery life, or maybe some way to use rechargeable batteries.

Otherwise, for a slightly-smaller but reliable and high-quality cattle prod, this one does the job just fine.


​Pros

  • Durable build
  • Shorter length for use with smaller livestock, up close
  • Precious-metal contacts prevent corrosion
  • Grooved finger guide for feeling switch

Cons

  • Poor battery life​


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​#4. ​​​PARKER MC CRORY S29 29" Master Stock Prod

If you’re looking for the cheapest stock prod out there, take a look at the Parker McRory S29. This 29” prod is made for up-close use, such as chute loading, features zero moving parts and fully-enclosed circuitry that prevents accidental shocks or water getting in.

The S29 boasts of an “Instant On Technology,” which sends shocks instantly without any kind of wind-up or prep time. And, it runs off only 2 C batteries.

Unfortunately, with inexpensive build and prices comes lower quality. The S29 isn’t the most durable cattle prod in the world, and it breaks easily if dropped; the internal electric components will break and rattle, and it could stop working.

But, it is roughly half the price of other cattle prods, making it an excellent choice for a Budget Buy prod.


​Pros

  • ​​Super inexpensive
  • Fully-enclosed circuitry
  • Instant-On tech
  • Runs off 2 C batteries

Cons

  • Cheaply built


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​#5. ​​​​Electric Cattle Prod Shaft

This cattle prod is another excellent choice for a quality prod. It’s 80cm long (about 30 inches long), making it a good length for all-around use on the ranch. It also has a very-large, 4000Mah lithium battery that recharges, with a charging port on the end of the handle and is rated to last 1.5 hours of continuous use and about 400 charges.

The probe ends themselves are made from copper, which helps them conduct electricity well and deliver a strong shock every time from a very small, overall current. The handle has a handguard and safety switch to keep it from accidentally discharging when you don’t mean for it to, and the shaft comes off for easy storage and transport when not in use. It’s made from a super-light PVC plastic.

Perfect? Close, but not quite. The plastic isn’t as durable as we would like – it feels a bit flimsy and very light in your hands, and we’re not sure exactly how well it will hold up. There have also been some reported problems with the charger, charging the battery, and quality control.

But overall, this is another good cattle prod that can be had for a decent mid-range price and is best used for smaller animals and livestock – such as pigs.


​Pros

  • ​Very large lithium battery; long life
  • 30 inches long
  • Copper probe ends
  • Safety switch + handguard
  • Folds up for storage/transport

Cons

  • ​Light, flimsy plastic
  • Some battery + charger issues


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What To Look For In A Good ​Prod for Cattle

Length

First, look at the length of the prod. You want to be able to reach the animals without getting too close – staying at least a couple feet away. At the same time, there are also situations that can call for smaller prod, such as sending them into the chute or when you have to get up real close. And for smaller livestock or pigs, you may not even need something too long. Somewhere between 24” and 36” is usually enough, though you can get longer. 

Handguard + Safety Features

It’s also nice to have something between you and the trigger to avoid accidentally shocking yourself – some insulation. It’s also nice to keep water out and prevent it from getting into the handle, which can damage the circuitry and make shocking yourself even more likely. Look for a rubber trigger, maybe a rubber handle and some kind of handguard, and some safety features such as a cut-off safety, which prevents accidentally pressing the button and giving yourself or anyone else a nice shock.

Batteries and Battery Life

 A lot of cattle prods don’t actually list the battery they use or the life they offer, but you preferably want one with lots of battery life so you can use it for long periods of time. Many basic models run off 2 or 4 C batteries, which provide decent battery life, are cheap and easy to replace, while others will have rechargeable batteries with ample capacity and super-easy recharging. Either way works – just know which you’re looking for.

Durability and Build Quality

Lastly, look at the build quality of the prod and how durable it is. What is it made of? Cattle prods are used in some rugged, dirty situations, and can easily break if kicked, smashed about, dropped. Look for the toughest, most solid one you can afford; higher end ones will be made of fiberglass as opposed to just plastic.

Final Word

So what’s the final verdict? Our pick for the Best Cattle Prod is the Miller 36, which combines the best of length (36”), quality and battery life, as well as features such as built-in safety switch, oversized trigger guard and handguard. It’s very sturdily build, has a snap-on battery pack that makes switching batteries out super easy, and the sealed circuits ensure there is no feedback or accidental shocking going on.

If you’d like to spend as little as possible, you can look into the Parker S29. It’s not as long at only 29”, and doesn’t provide the same power of build quality, but at a fraction of the price, provides a decent cattle prod that gets the job done – even for larger livestock.

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