Auto Drafting

New Racewell Sheep Handlers for Mt Linton Station

Story by Corban Blampied

Mt Linton Station

“Mount Linton is one impressive station,” says Matt Shieffelbien, Te Pari’s Racewell salesman.

And he’s right. Sitting proudly on 12,145 hectares in Western Southland, the station has battled floods, snow, and rabbits over the years, to become the gem it is today.

“The thing that strikes you is how organized, clean and well-maintained the whole farm is,” Matt adds. Quite a feat when you’re running Angus cattle and two different sheep breeds — 104,000 stock units in all. 

mt linton (1) copymt linton (31)Jacob Mackie, Mt Linton stock manager talks with some of the team

mt linton (41)Lambs are drafted by eye, with ewe's heading straight back to pasture.

mt linton (51)With so many stock around, you can expect to see a few shepherds

It’s the lamb production scale that prompted Mount Linton to upgrade their 12-year-old Racewell Sheep Handlers for the latest HD4 model. When you have thousands and thousands of lambs to wean, you want to get through them as fast as you can.

The HD4 automatically drafts four ways, and with both machines working in tandem, the shepherds can draft 1600 lambs an hour. While the current pen setup only allows for five-way drafting, their new Racewells give the yards the potential for eight-way drafts, with a bit of reconfiguring. 

mt linton (6)The first pens fill up and wait to be weighed and drafted

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As well as a vast acreage of grass paddocks for stock, unfenced bush and 450ha of tree plantations, Mount Linton’s people also care for the unique parts of their land. Nearly 200 hectares of native bush and wetlands have been retired from farm-use to preserve and protect the plants, birds, animals, and insects that thrive there.

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All in all, it makes sense that Mount Linton Station would want the best sheep handlers possible to run their carefully bred lambs and sheep through the yards with as little stress as possible. Racewell has served them well in the past, and the HD4s now take yard work to the next level for the Mount Linton shepherds and their precious flock.


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