Sheep, Sheep Handling
In the heart of central Victoria, just 40 minutes south of Bendigo, lies Coliban Park, a property with a rich history spanning generations. Duncan Barber, the proud owner of Coliban Park, is a fourth-generation farmer with a dedication to growth and innovation. Find out how the Te Pari Racewell has revolutionized sheep handling on this farm.
Preserving a Legacy
Coliban Park is not just a property; it's a testament to the enduring legacy of the Barber family. Duncan's great-grandparents settled on this land in 1917, and since 1859, sheep have roamed its pastures. With a commitment to preserving their heritage, Duncan and his wife have increased the stock numbers and now shear approximately 30,000 sheep, a significant increase from the 12,000 they sheared when Duncan first left school 30 years ago.
From Small Beginnings to Farming Smart
Duncan's father believed in the philosophy of "get bigger or get out," recognizing that scaling operations was crucial for success. Building upon this philosophy, Duncan and his family have expanded Coliban Park and transformed it into a thriving enterprise. However, with growth came new challenges, particularly in sheep husbandry. To address these challenges, Duncan sought innovative solutions to streamline operations and enhance the well-being of their flock.
As a firm believer in farming smart, Duncan explored various sheep-handling options and attended multiple field days to find the perfect solution. After careful consideration, he discovered the Te Pari Racewell and made the decision to invest in this cutting-edge equipment.
The Te Pari Racewell impressed Duncan with its low impact, noise-free operation, and ease of use. The sheep flowed effortlessly through the race, even the older ewes, reducing stress for both the animals and the handlers. Duncan describes the Racewell as a game-changer, allowing him to carry out tasks like drenching sheep or drafting with remarkable ease. The absence of noise and the gentle handling of the sheep have transformed the work environment on Coliban Park.
One of the standout features of the Te Pari Racewell is its rear access flap, which simplifies various tasks. For larger sheep, it has made crutching and pre-drenching before shearing much easier. By flipping the ewes on their side, lifting the access flap, cleaning them, and releasing them, Duncan and his team save valuable time and effort.
Furthermore, the Racewell's design enables efficient workflow management. When handling large numbers of sheep, Duncan prefers to leave the back auto gate open. Using the foot pedal and auto catch function, the sheep flow through the race seamlessly, without the need for constant gate adjustments. This streamlined process has resulted in time savings and increased productivity, with Duncan sharing that his best record using the Te Pari Racewell was drenching 1,500 sheep in just two hours.
Transitioning to new equipment can sometimes be daunting, but Duncan found the after-sales service provided by Te Pari to be exceptional. Any questions or concerns were promptly addressed, and the company ensured that knowledgeable experts were readily available to assist. The support received reinforced Duncan's confidence in his purchase and helped him maximize the Racewell's potential on Coliban Park.
A Testament to Body Preservation
For Duncan, the benefits of the Te Pari Racewell extend beyond time and workflow management. The equipment's user-friendly design has significantly reduced physical strain on the handlers. As Duncan proudly puts it, "Saving of the body has been the biggest thing... you've got to look after a body like this." The Racewell's ergonomic features and efficient operation have resulted in a healthier and more sustainable work environment.
Coliban Park stands as a shining example of how innovation and smart farming practices can transform a traditional property into a modern, efficient, and sustainable enterprise. Duncan Barber's commitment to embracing advancements in sheep handling, exemplified by the Te Pari Racewell, has not only saved time but also enhanced the well-being of the sheep and the people working on the farm. With their dedication to farming smart, the Barber family ensures that the legacy of Coliban Park will endure for generations to come.