Sheep, Sheep Handling
Malcolm Brady has run the Burrawang Dorper Stud at Burrawang, NSW, Australia since 2017. Before taking over the farm Malcolm owned his livestock agency business for 30 years. So, it’s fair to say he’s seen a lot of different sheep drafting set-ups on farms in his time. Find out why Malcolm chose the Racewell DR5 Auto Drafter.
“When I first came here, we were using a catch and grab and weigh system which was slow and needed a lot of staff, so we looked into it. Being an ex-agent, I wanted to make sure we could do Auctions Plus. We wanted to be able to see the sheep in the crate and wanted to be able to see whether it was fat or whatever. Also, the quietness of the machine was a big part of what we really liked. I don’t think I’ve seen a quieter weighing machine and being an agent, I’ve seen lots of them and that (the Racewell) really ticked that box.” said Malcolm.
The Racewell DR5 Auto Drafter can automatically weigh and draft animals based on weight or other animal criteria you select on your scale system. It will integrate with a wide range of popular scale indicator brands such as Tru-Test, Gallagher and of course Te Pari.
You can also use it to manually draft animals by sight by using the remote control or control buttons on the top of the machine. Racewell Auto Drafters feature dual operation controls. With simple toggle switches and push-button controls in the centre of the machine, operation from either side is easy and accessible. Plus, the rugged remote control allows the operator to stand back in the yards or race and still have complete control over the machine without having to be at its side.
The Racewell Auto Drafter is quieter than other drafting machines that Malcolm has seen because of its rugged, hot-dip galvanized frame, the hard-wearing rubber floor and quiet pneumatic operation.
“The efficiency of it all is great, I can send one staff member down to weigh 500 lambs in probably an hour and a half - if that. They flow through quickly, it’s very good and all done 3-ways without a worry. And the best thing of all, the most important thing of all is they want to run through it. It doesn’t matter whether they’re commercial sheep or stud sheep it didn’t matter if it was their first time through it or not ever before, they do run through very well.” said Malcolm.
Racewell Sheep Drafters can be operated by a single person. They can automatically read EID tags, weigh and sort sheep. These actions are programmed into the scale indicator which communicates these settings to the Racewell Sheep Drafter. The operator has the freedom to move away from the weighing and drafting area, so they can organise stock while maintaining control of the machine and can stop or hold an animal at the push of a button on the remote. Racewell Sheep Drafters are available in both 3-way or 5-way draft models.
“The fact that we could get a 5-way draft was also a big thing for the stud side of it. And just commercially it's great being able to do the numbers and do it easy, it’s all electronic and it reads it and all good. And anyone can do it, even I can do it and I’m not electronically savvy so if I can use it anyone can.” said Malcolm.
To encourage good sheep flow the Racewell Sheep Drafter has a low entry height for animals and they can see right through to the other side as they approach. Once the sheep steps into the drafter the entry & exit gates are automatically shut to hold the animal in place while they are weighed. The automatic gates are activated by twin adjustable optical sensors, and they automatically open once the weight is read by the scale system. Any automatic function settings can be overridden at any time with the manual control buttons.
“I must say the service has been amazing, it’s been really, really good. And there’s no stress on the animals – they just go through, they’re happy to take their turn, that flow and the quietness and the sheep want to do it is huge.
I’ve recommended the Te Pari to other station owners who’ve since bought them and I haven’t heard an issue back so they’re friends and ex-clients, so they’d definitely tell me one way or the other, so I definitely recommend it, it’s a good product.” said Malcolm.
Watch the video to hear the full story from Malcolm!