Sheep, Sheep Handling

Enhancing Efficiency and Accuracy with a Racewell Sheep Handler

Enhancing Efficiency and Accuracy with a Racewell Sheep Handler

High Greenbury Farm Ltd., located in the UK, has a rich history dating back to the 1950s when Rob Atkinson's grandparents first purchased 66 acres of land. Today, Rob, his wife, and their three children run a thriving sheep fattening operation, processing around 50,000 to 60,000 store lambs each year. To manage this large-scale operation efficiently, the Atkinsons rely on advanced farming technology, specifically the Racewell Sheep Handlers and Revolution Auto Dosing Guns.

Improved Sheep Flow with Racewell

Rob Atkinson highlights a significant upgrade in their farming operations after switching from a Clipex Sheep Handler to the Racewell Sheep Handler. The main issue with the Clipex was its lead-up race design, where the side moves into clamp/hold the next-in-line animal, but in turn baulks the next animal in the race. This design flaw disrupted the flow of sheep, caused frequent stops and slowed down the entire process.

In contrast, the Racewell Sheep Handler features an anti-backing wing that does not obstruct the sheep's view, ensuring a continuous flow. The Racewell has significantly reduced holdups, allowing sheep to move smoothly and efficiently. The railed gate behind the clamp also encourages forward movement, further enhancing the flow. As a result, the Atkinsons have seen an impressive increase in productivity, processing an extra hundred sheep per hour compared to their previous system.

"We rely on the Racewell machine, we use it four days a week, and we can't be without it now," Rob emphasizes. This constant flow not only speeds up the handling process but also reduces stress for the sheep and staff, contributing to better overall welfare.

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Revolution Auto Dosing Guns

Another significant advancement at High Greenbury Farm is the use of Revolution Auto Dosing Guns. This innovative dosing system auto calibrates the required dose rate according to each animal’s weight. The Racewell Sheep Handler seamlessly integrates with the dosing gun to make dosing more accurate, and the easy-to-use trigger significantly reduces repetitive strain and effort involved for staff.

"Every single lamb we buy gets put through there and dosed on arrival," Rob explains. The system’s ability to handle lambs weighing between 30 and 45 kilos without manual adjustments saves considerable time and improves accuracy. This precision ensures that no dose is wasted, leading to significant cost savings. In fact, the savings are so substantial that the dosing gun paid for itself twice over in the first year.
The dosing gun is also user-friendly, with a lightweight design and simple operation. "It's that easy to use. It's not heavy; it's just a simple click and it works," Rob notes. This ease of use is crucial given the farm's scale, where they aim to meet a tight specification, processing around 1,500 lambs per week with an average weight of 21.4 to 21.8 kilos.

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Reduced labor and maintenance

The implementation of the Racewell Sheep Handler and Revolution Auto Dosing Guns has also brought labor efficiencies. Previously, handling sheep required three people: one operating the machine, one pushing up, and another filling races. Now, only two people are needed, saving labor costs and improving operational efficiency.

Moreover, the Racewell machine operates quietly and uses less air than the previous system, reducing wear and tear on the compressor. "The compressor hardly ever kicks in now, compared to what we used to have—it was firing up every few minutes with the Clipex," Rob mentions. This decreased demand on the compressor extends its lifespan and lowers maintenance costs.

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Video Testimonial

The adoption of Racewell Sheep Handlers and Revolution Auto Dosing Guns at High Greenbury Farm has revolutionized their sheep fattening operation. These innovations have not only enhanced the efficiency and accuracy of their processes but also improved labor utilization and reduced maintenance needs. For farmers in the UK looking to optimize their operations, these tools offer substantial benefits, ensuring smoother workflows, cost savings, and overall improved farm management. As Rob Atkinson aptly puts it, "If it makes their lives easier, then everyone's happy."

Watch the full video testimonial from Rob Atkinson below