Sheep, Sheep Handling

Getting more data out of our sheep

Getting more data out of our sheep

Paul Coates runs a mixed enterprise of pedigree Beef Shorthorns and North of England mules with Cheviot and Scotch mules at his farm located near Carlisle, near Cumbria in the Eden Valley.

The 420-acre farm is used mostly for grazing their animals with the aim to become as efficient with the animal data as possible. With over 1000 sheep to manage Paul began looking into sheep handling options to help with the recording of data whilst keeping labour to a minimum.

“About 4 years ago we were looking to invest in a new sheep handling facility. We had looked around and came across the range of Te Pari products and more specifically the Racewell HD3.” Explains Paul.

The Racewell HD3 from Te Pari is the entry-level auto-drafting sheep handler that will allow the user to weigh and sort the sheep three ways by weight or EID preference.

“We decided to ask around and talk to people to see if it really was the right product for us and then 6 months later, we purchased one!”

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A huge benefit of the Racewell system to farmers is the increased accuracy when it comes to weighing the animals. This subsequently allows you to manage the stock much better, increasing profitability for the business.

“The reasons why we purchased a Te Pari Racewell is that we found the technology was right for what we wanted and what we could get out of the machine. I could get the weighing side a lot more accurate, stable, and faster. Handling the sheep is gentler than the other products I have seen out there, and I liked how the sheep flow through the equipment. I found that once the animals have been through the machine once, they are used to it and then felt comfortable to go through again and again.”

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The flow of the sheep is paramount for ease, speed and general happiness of the animals, designs such as the anti-backing hook mean the sheep in the lead-up will not back out of the race and the tapered sides also help prevent them turning around. The whole process is designed to reduce stress for the operator and the animal.

“The machine has done very well for us, and we have had no problems with it in the four years that we have had it. It’s really enabled us to get more data out of our sheep enterprise and hopefully, we can get a lot more going forward.”

All the Te Pari Racewell handlers are manufactured at our dedicated facility in Oamaru, New Zealand. All the steel on the machine is hot dip galvanised to ensure longevity and robustness on farm.

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“They are good, strong, and reliable, I really like them! Having the Racewell has resulted in us looking into the cattle handling systems that Te Pari offer as we also run a beef enterprise. So, hopefully, in the next 12 months we will be purchasing a Te Pari cattle crush! A positive is that the animal management system can be integrated with both the machines and then we can use that data to help all parts of the business become more efficient.”

“I really liked the experience working with Te Pari, you can pick the phone up and if you have any problems they will help you sort it most of the time over the phone, otherwise they will be in your yard to help you sort it.”