Improved efficiency for this Portugal Sheep Producer
Written by Aimee Johnston
Written by Aimee Johnston
Joao Paisana manages a large De-Levie sheep finishing farm in Portugal. The farm exports 40,000 to 50,000 lambs a year to Israel and they recently installed a Racewell HD6 Sheep Handler with 6 way automatic draft.
The Sheep Handler is used for processing new animals that arrive at the farm and also for regular weighing and animal treatments. The Racewell automatically catches the sheep, and holds them so that staff can easily tag, drench and inspect each animal. The machine can be set up to weigh and draft each animal depending on their weight or other characteristics that are stored in the scale system.
“Well today we received some lambs from a supplier, the lambs are unloaded from the truck and they pass through the handler and scale. We make initial records like sex, breed and automatically the scale records the weight and the date of arrival. Later the lambs pass again through the handler and scale for us to draft to separate them according to weight, categories or sex and breed.” Said Joao.
The automatic functionality results in less chance of error and there are many different settings that can be selected on the handler to suit the job being done at the time. With a Racewell Sheep Handler there is less human involvement in the weighing and drafting process. As a result the sheep feel less threatened and are more inclined to move freely through the system. Accurate weighing and drafting ensures that all stock fall into the correct groups and makes the process a lot easier and more efficient for staff.
Joao is very satisfied with Racewell Sheep Handler and said “The sale and installation of Te Pari equipment was highly professional so it was very easy and comfortable for us.”
After the animal has been handled and weighed, a drafting gate is opened and the sheep is released into a predetermined pen. The entire process is done in a matter of seconds, meaning minimal stress on both the operator and animal.
“The Te Pari equipment is very easy to work with, the flow is very good, it’s very comfortable for the lambs it’s minimal stress for the lambs and very easy for working people to vaccinate and de worm, all the actions we need to do are very comfortable for the lambs and for the working people.
The handler is essential equipment in a big lamb farm with a very high rotation like we have here. We receive lambs on a daily basis and when we export lambs we export up to 12,000 lambs in a day. So, we need a very comfortable, easy to work with machine but with a very high flow, with a very high rotation.” Said Joao.
Racewell Sheep Handling Systems can automatically read EID tags, weigh and draft sheep. These actions are programmed into the scale indicator which communicates these settings to the Racewell Sheep Handler System. This gives the operator the freedom to move away from the weighing and drafting area, to organise stock while maintaining control and stop or hold an animal at the push of a button on the remote.
“The equipment allows us to work about 350 lambs, if we make initial recordings, if we vaccinate. If we are just separating them according to weight or sex or something we can reach 700, 800 lambs per hour easily.
We can work either with the pedal with our foot, or we can work with the easy to use dashboard or even we have a remote control. If we want to use the separation manually.” Said Joao.
When the sheep enter the handler, the optical sensors or ‘magic eyes’ trigger the catching mechanism, which is an air-operated clamp. At the same time the animal is clamped, the air-operated entry gate closes behind them, preventing the next sheep from entering. At this point the clamped animal is weighed and can be tipped horizontally onto its side for crutching and various other procedures and inspections.
“The efficiency of the farm increased dramatically after we installed the Te Pari Sheep Handling equipment. An equipment such as the Te Pari Handler is just the best option for such a farm as ours. We use it every day for the reception of new lambs to farm and also for all the subsequent operations and activities we do with the lambs. It allows us to work in a very efficient way. We are very satisfied.” Said Joao.