Sheep, Sheep Handling

Upgrading for Efficiency: Peter Stone’s new Racewell HD4 Sheep Handler

Written by Aimee Johnston

Upgrading for Efficiency: Peter Stone’s new Racewell HD4 Sheep Handler

In the heart of Woodstock West, Victoria Peter Stone and his team are transforming the way they manage their mixed sheep and crop enterprise, thanks to the remarkable capabilities of the new Racewell HD4 Sheep Handler. Read on to find out how the new features have positively impacted their operation.

Peter Stone’s journey with Te Pari began in 2003 when they first purchased a Racewell Sheep Handler. After 20 years of using the Racewell, Peter heard about the new features available such as the rear access flap for crutching and improved lead-up race and made the decision to upgrade to the new Racewell HD4.

Handling Large Ewes with Ease:

One of the standout features of the Racewell HD4 Sheep Handler is its ability to handle larger animals easily. Peter said that the size of their composite ewes posed a challenge for their older machine which had a fixed-width clamp area and lead-up race.

The new Racewell HD4's design has a larger and adjustable lead-up race and clamp, which has proven to be a game-changer. It ensures a smoother handling process and accommodates their diverse flock with ease. The clamp wall width and pressure can be easily adjusted to suit large rams or small lambs. It can even be set narrower at the front than the rear for handling pregnant ewes more carefully.

The adjustable lead-up race is great for improving the flow of lambs by preventing them from being able to turn around in the lead-up area.

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Enhanced Speed and Accuracy:

Peter is impressed with the Racewell HD4's improved speed and accuracy for auto-catching the sheep. The gate swiftly cuts off between sheep, minimizing mis-catches and saving time. The patented magic eye sensors on the lead-up and clamp wall are adjustable so that catch positions can be set to your preference quickly and easily. So, for crutching you can catch the sheep to the rear of the clamp to have better access to the back end of the sheep, and if you’re tagging or checking teeth then sheep can be caught further forward in the clamp for better front-end access.

Peter’s new Racewell has the Rear Access Flap, which gives improved access for crutching sheep while in the clamp without the need to physically handle them. The Rear Access flap is easy to use, just tilt the sheep over in the clamp and open the flap by pushing a button on the clamp wall. This option is available with any Racewell Sheep Handler that has a side tilt.

“So, for crutching in the machine, it's very easy to do a market crutch. You're not having to drag the heavy sheep out or lambs out, so you're a lot more refreshed at the end of the day. Makes for an overall much easier job.” Said Peter.

peter stone racewell article crutching sheep

Smart Weighing and Drafting:

The Racewell HD4 can automatically weigh and draft 4 ways which is great for separating animals into weight groups or into groups determined by EID tag data. The ability to monitor weight gains for individual animals, track the animals' history, and assess their activities in the paddocks has provided crucial insights for better decision-making.

“With the weighing and drafting, just being able to monitor your weight gains and things like that that you can work out how long it is since they were last weighed and what they're doing, what they're doing in the paddocks, what the feed's doing. Knowing what you can do on grass and what you can do on grain for your weight gains helps you to plan ahead to market sheep.” Said Peter.

Remote Control Convenience:

The remote control that comes with the Racewell HD4 stands out as a significant advantage. Peter emphasizes how it not only controls gates but also manages the clamp and release, which means the machine operator can stand back from the handler to help the sheep flow through quickly. The remote also means there’s no need to stop processing animals if the operator needs to move away from the machine.

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Recommendation for Efficiency:

Peter Stone wholeheartedly recommends Te Pari and the Racewell HD4, describing it as a reliable machine that suits farmers who are serious about improving the efficiency of their sheep weighing and handling system.

“As far as efficiency goes, we can put through between 500 and 600 an hour weighing if you've got the sheep feeding up well. I would certainly recommend Te Pari as a good machine, reliable machine. I would think a machine like this would suit anyone who's serious about any sheep weighing and handling operation that they want to do together. Sheep can come in, be weighed, can be vaccinated or drenched, check feet, crutched, all of those things in one operation.” Said Peter.


Watch the video testimonial from Peter Stone!