SCORE! Sheep Handling Equipment

farmerjan

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Any time you can get equipment like that to help you do the "physical" work is great, if it works. We did it the hard way for years and when we bought our first head catch for the cattle, it was like a miracle. Of course now we have the farm rented from the widow of our friend, and there is a catch pen, and alley that runs down to the head catch. Has a home made guillotine and that is a life saver when you have a pushy cow that wants to run up over you when you are trying to do something to the one in the chute. There is also a smaller gate that we swing shut behind the cow that is in the head catch. It allows me to go in behind the cow, and breed her A I or such. There is enough room for one cow to stand behind that gate and the guillotine that drops down and keeps any other cows back. We also have 2 places down the alley that we can slide a simple board in and contain the cows in the alleyway. The alley holds 5-7 cows total. So we can get a group in the small catch pen, run some up the alley, and contain them and go back and get some more in the catch pen. They make some really elaborate pens, with tub sweeps that move the cattle into alleys that lead to the catch. If you have a place that needs it, they are nice, but expensive. They are portable though.
The nice thing about a guillotine, or even our swing gate between the cow and the next one, is that you can open the head catch, let the one out and not have someone else pushing to try to run out over top of you. Sure sheep are smaller than cows, but they still can push you over if they are wanting out. And if they back up, they hit the guillotine or our swing gate, and can't go any further back, so they figure going forward is better.
Good buy if it makes your handling the sheep easier on you and your help.
 

Sheepshape

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Always worth having handling equipment for sheep and cattle.

We had our sheep shed built to replace a leaky old barn some years back. It was largely engineered by a self-taught (and very skilful) Polish guy. He custom made a race and the metalwork in our sheep shed.....very flexible and has been an absolute boon. We can attach sheep hurled in many places to change the configuration and can turn the gates round etc.(The water on the floor is where I've just washed the shed out having had them down for vitamin drenching)
Sheep race.jpg


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Baymule

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Thanks for the picture of the run and gates @Sheepshape it helps me wrap my head around how I'm going to set ours up.

@Mike CHS could you post some pics of your set up? I would appreciate it. How far from the guillotine gate to the let-em-out gate? LOL How much room (length) does the sheep that you are working on need.

Looks like we'll get it set up Thursday morning. We had to go get feed this morning, other errands, it's hot now and I have lost enthusiasm for melting down like the wicked witch of the west.

Tomorrow morning we are back on chicken slaughter detail, i'll be so glad when we are done with them. Thursday is marked for equipment set up and hopefully chicken slaughter on Friday and that should wrap that up.
 

Baymule

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Do I set it up with small pen, guillotine gate, long run, guillotine gate, short run, stop gate, 1 sheep size run, then end in sorting gate? I got nowhere to sort them to for now, but I know I'll be moving it and playing with it. Eventually we want it in a covered area with a run where we can back the trailer up to it to load lambs.
 

Mike CHS

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Our layout now is similar to what we had when you were here but we added an 8' gate to the porch and attached a Cattle Panel inside the loading chute to use to "squeeze" the animals onto a trailer. We added the gate permanently to allow us to use it to hold animals in the loading area or we can send them in there until we are done and then open the gate and let them go back to the shelter area by moving the inside panel at the entrance to the chute.

Two of our solid panels allow us to drop the height by 8" so we can easily step over and get in the chute with the sheep. You can see them in the 3rd and 4th pictures. The only issue with those is I have had a wild ewe jump out of the chute when the height is reduced. Three adult sheep easily fit in one section and I can get in to hold them steady while they get a shot or drench from the person outside the chute. By working in with them it lets me use my position to keep them from backing out or lets me use my lower body to push them forward in the rare case they get stubborn. At first I had to use a panel to force them into the chute but anymore I just open the sliding gate at the entry end and they walk right in.

Handling area1.JPG
Handling area2.JPG
Handling area3.JPG
Handling area4.JPG
Handling area5.JPG
Handling area6.JPG
 

Mike CHS

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Do I set it up with small pen, guillotine gate, long run, guillotine gate, short run, stop gate, 1 sheep size run, then end in sorting gate? I got nowhere to sort them to for now, but I know I'll be moving it and playing with it. Eventually we want it in a covered area with a run where we can back the trailer up to it to load lambs.
My pictures don't show it but we use electric netting connected to the right of the sorting gate that runs up the hill and just past the gate at the top. That lets them go back to the paddock they started from. I have just let them out without the netting but they get curious and head straight for the garden so we stopped doing that. If they are going to be loaded, they go into the holding pen at the right of our chute.
 

Baymule

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Thanks for all the pictures Mike! it sure helps. So in your "working" area of the run, you fit 3 sheep in there? Is that better than one at a time? Thanks for the answers and the help, we sure appreciate it.
 

Mike CHS

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You want the chute to be full. Just the fact that they can't move either way keeps them calm and lets you do whatever you need to do. We have too many to handle one at a time and being able to work on several at a time makes the sheep accept whatever you are doing to them. Plus if there is a single in the chute they panic more because they are alone even if they trust you they are stressed. We can put up to six lambs in a section at a time.
 
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