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Basic Sheep Handling Equipment: Everything You Need To Know

Feb 20, 2020Blog0 comments

Precision farming is a must for any farmer to be able to survive financially. Losses due to theft, predators or disease have to be limited more so than ever before. The expense of feed and complimentary feed is enormous, and as a farmer, you need the maximum weight gain per kilogram of feed. This can be avoided with the right sheep handling equipment.

Fertility is as important as birth rate, and you require a decent birth rate from your flock. To remedy these problems, you will need to monitor your sheep more often and in more detail. You should invest in sheep handling equipment for more efficiency and ease. Below is some helpful advice on everything you need to know about sheep handling equipment.

What Should You Monitor?

As a livestock farmer, you are likely already aware of the hard work and effort that goes into your job. There are some specific aspects of your sheep, however, that you should always monitor with your sheep handling equipment to ensure that your sheep are healthy:

  • Their growth, by regularly weighing your sheep on a weighing platform
  • Any possible diseases by using visual inspection of the mouth, feet, eyes and ears
  • Possible or confirmed pregnancy in the ewes

  • By monitoring often, you will be able to detect problems early enough to take corrective action. You will also be able to limit financial damages. Be sure to look for equipment built specifically for your sheep, as sheep handling equipment is calibrated for the weight and movement of the animal.

    Improve Your Kraal

    While the old kraal does still serve its purpose, life can be made easier by adding in movable sheep handling equipment. This can help to make the process of working the flock quicker and more efficient. With the cost of labour also increasing, movable sheep handling equipment requires fewer hands, operates quicker, and is cost-effective.

    A movable sheep handling system is very helpful and you can move the equipment to where the sheep are. Most sheep farms are thousands of hectares, and by using this equipment, you will only need one system, making for a very economic option. A movable sheep handling system consists of different components, and each farmer can design their own layout according to their needs.

    You can also consult with experts who can provide you with effective layouts. A basic movable sheep handling equipment system consists of the following:

  • A sorting gate to split the flock in two or more flocks
  • A stop gate to prevent sheep from entering the work area or other areas
  • A sliding gate to help sheep exit the work area easily
  • A guillotine for a quick and hassle-free exit from the work area
  • A footbath to treat the hooves for any diseases or injuries
  • A raised platform to release stress from the operator’s back
  • Sheep hurdles linking the system together effectively
  • A weighing platform for weighing the flock to monitor their growth

  • There are some very expensive sheep handling systems available, and some systems have been computerised, but this can prove to be expensive for those with smaller budgets, as well as difficult to maintain if you are not technically-savvy.

    Conclusion

    Most farmers who use sheep handling equipment will only need a very basic raceway system. It will need to be reliable and long-lasting, providing assistance for decades to come. There are some optional extra pieces of sheep handling equipment that you can install to improve your basic system:

  • A movable sheep loading bay for easy loading
  • A sheep weighing crate with an electronic or mechanical scale
  • An in-line, semi-automatic weighing crate with an electronic scale
  • These movable sheep handling systems are ideal for any farmer who is starting out, expanding or even for an established commercial farmer. It can make an impressive difference to the profitability of any sheep farmer. Contact Van Schoor for advice on the design of a system that will suit your needs.