Livestock handling technology has accelerated on the back of a push to make facilities significantly more efficient, without sacrificing safety for staff, contractors, and animals. Customised sheep handling facilities demonstrate significant improvements in sheep husbandry for producers. Producers are now looking to avoid ‘catalogue sheepyards’ and are looking to design facilities that are purpose built for their enterprise. Here’s our top 5 features of custom sheepyards:
1. Efficient, high throughput every single time
Consistently high throughput levels are achieved through Custom Sheepyard facilities, tailored to suit your operational requirements. Seemingly small details such as breed, gate placement, yard access, angles in yards, yard orientation and the compression ratio or relative size of yards, loading and unloading all influence stock flow principals.
Maximising throughput starts with optimal design processes. ProWay Livestock Equipment are renowned custom sheepyards designers who pride themselves on no two facilities ever being the same. ProWay’s Design Team incorporate key products into their curved designs such as the Sheep Bulk Handler, Rotary Force, Adjustable Dual Leadup Races to ensure stock flow efficiently through the facility. For Richard Harkness, Owner of Gumbarra Park, Tintinara SA, efficiency was key to ensuring sheep would be processed quickly and continue their weight gain: “we get 18 inch rainfall and hot summers which makes working sheep challenging at times, so we’ve fixed all that with a new set of ProWay yards with a roof over the top”. Customising the facility to suit your requirements will ensure you get the best results without reducing animal welfare or operator safety.
2. Incorporating existing infrastructure
New stockyards can be an extremely daunting undertaking. There may be aspects of your existing facility such as shearing sheds, trees, loading ramps that you may want to keep or include in your new set of yards. A custom designed facility ensures these features can be kept in place. ProWay’s custom design processes aims to include existing infrastructure as part of the design and build of your custom sheepyards.
ProWay have instilled flexibility and confidence in their clients through the use of satellite and drone mapping technology to ensure a new custom sheepyards facility can be incorporated into your existing site with pinpoint accuracy.
3. Additional safety features
One of the most prevalent matters in the livestock industry, safety has become a key aspect for producers, regardless of scale. Livestock producers are looking to improve ergonomics, safety and animal welfare in their facilities to ensure a safe work environment for their staff and contractors.
Custom sheepyards are designed to ensure you can incorporate safety features that are relevant and suitable for your facility. For example, additional manway gates and key products such as Rotary Force Gates can be incorporated to allow staff to work livestock without having to get in with them. Loading Ramps have also seen significant improvements in safety and efficiency benefits. Loading Ramps can be customised to suit your sheepyards.
4. Technological improvements
Purpose built custom sheepyards also benefit from technological improvements. Technology in livestock handling infrastructure ultimately leads to the higher throughput, productivity and safety benefits that producers are striving to achieve. Sheep working areas are constantly associated with stress and risk, ProWay has developed products such as Rotary Force, Drafters, Guillotine and Swing Gates to boost operator safety, remotely open and close gates while working sheep.
Alternatively, ProWay’s custom sheepyards also feature an abundance of Race, Gate and Rail options to suit your breed, head count and future expansion options. ProWay’s Design Team use the latest drone and satellite technology to accurately add strategic economic benefits to your facility.
5. Comfortable working environments
Good contractors are tricky to get at times. Livestock producers are looking at ways they can improve comfort levels in their facilities to not only encourage contractors, but to make the facility easier and safer to work in. Working with ProWay Livestock Equipment’s Design Team has seen a lot of operators opting for roof over structures and concreted working areas in their custom sheepyards.
Roof over structures allow for all weather protection whilst working sheep. It also protects vital equipment from the elements and allows staff to work without having to worry about the hot sun or rain, reducing stress levels amongst staff and animals. Custom sheepyard designs have seen an increase in concreted working areas to partner roof over structures. Concrete offers longevity, stability and safety whilst also making it easier to move stock through and clean the yards. ProWay’s Design Team can offer project management and advice on concrete and roof over placement in your custom sheepyards.
The possibilities with custom sheepyards are genuinely endless and the benefits of a custom-built sheep facility are clear. ProWay Livestock Equipment have continually improved on their offering through years of industry feedback from clients, contractors and transporters. By ensuring the facility meets your requirements, producers can expect a high standard output for years to come.