Sheep Handlers: Introduction

Australian Wool Corporation

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

Easy to interpret research article looking at more productive and efficient ways at handling sheep.


What is the problem?

Sheep handling has never been an easy job. As a corollary, woolgrowers tend to involuntarily engage in hired labor to assist them in their unfamiliarities within sheep handling. This results to high expenditures that may result in further problems.

Ergo to the issue, this paper aims to help the woolgrowers to save themselves from these high-cost work since it provides multiple information and methods ineffective sheep handling they can undertake personally.

What did the research involve?

The papers introduced the principle of sheep handling operations, types and uses of sheep handlers, the sheep handling system, and the expected output from sheep handlers.

What were the key findings?

  • The sheep handlers’ principle of operation:
    • they present a sheep to the operator with the appropriate height and position
    • they hold the sheep so that the operator maneuvers the required activities
    • they allow the release of sheep after the treatment
  • The type of the sheep handlers’ units:
    • loading race for transporting the sheep to the treatment area
    • holding unit to ready the sheep for treatment
    • cradle to restrain the animals from the treatment area
    • exit facility to release sheep from treatment
  • Uses of sheep handlers:
    • these may include crutching, wigging, ringing, dagging, foot trimming, mulesing, and more
    • the sheep handling system:
    • function: treatment are necessary, must be standardized, and simplified by better management
    • inputs: must be set up and adjusted to suit the sheep
    • outputs: multi-tasking while returning the sheep to the paddock
    • environment: the most appropriate area where cleanliness and well-lighting exist
    • sequence of events: each event is essential, the sequence flow must be smooth and efficient
    • physical items: cost-efficient materials and well-trained shepherd dogs
    • personnel: the operator’s’ knowledge and operation in the work is essential
  • Expected output from sheep handlers:
    • proficiency and utmost care

Final Comment

The effectivity of sheep handling hinges on the treatment, the operator’s proficiency in the field, and the efficiency of the systems and materials used. This note merely focuses on the productivity and gives an unmeasured degree of physical exertion. However, if the key findings are followed and actuated by the operators, an anticipated productivity and effectivity is tolerable.

1980 - Australia - Australian Wool Corporation
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