Sheepvention Farm Ideas & Technology

Sheepvention 2008

Cow training a winner
Training technicians and vets in a range of cow artificial breeding techniques has been made much more effective and animal welfare compatible with new artifical rear quarters and associated dummy reproductive tracts. Called Breeding Betsy the training aid invented by Brad Pickford won the 2008 Hamilton Sheepvention Novartis Animal Health major award and $4000 prize money. Breeding Betsy comes with the complete set of reproductive tract models needed for artificial insemination, embryo flushing and transfer, and pregnancy testing, as well as a teaching manual. Units have been sold to veterinary teaching faculties in 10 countries. Laid up for two years following an accident the former artifical breeding technicians and Byaduck dairy farmer said he had time available to come up with a better and more animal welfare friendly way to train people. Breeding Betsy enables students and teachers to ‘see’ what they have to feel for when AIing or pregnancy testing. Pickford contends the aid gives a 90 – 95% simulation to the real thing. He can even incorporate a real abattoir sourced reproduction tract into the aid for an even closer true to life operation. The complete package costs $6000.
Contact: Brad Pickford


Safer loading ramp
Two Condah Victoria agricultural contractors have studied the deficiencies of most portable sheep loading ramps and built their own. Andy Satchell and Bill McCallum believe they have incorporated all the components needed in a safe-to-use 4m long ramp. The walkway and safety rail is now required for worksafe purposes. They have added a door into the ramp so the drover can easily move behind the sheep and into the truck or trailer. Other features include floor flap, endless chain elevator and even a holder to safely stow the towbar. Price is $5500. Contact: Andy Satchell 0419 563 6009, Bill McCallum 0427 782 252


Simple drenching handler
It’s one of the ideas that’s so simple it’s a wonder it wasn’t invented before. Wayne Perkins, Perkinz Drenchmaster incorporates an hinged panel in one side. The operator simple leans against the panel to squeeze the animal and prevent it moving forward. The race and panel is fitted with the anti-backing bristles which are important to achieve the result. A drafting door is incorporated into the race.
Price is around $3500.
Contact: Wayne Perkins,


Mobile mechanical crutcher
Wayne Perkins, Southland New Zealand has developed a modular trailer mounted mechanical crutching unit. Two and three module units are most popular but even a single module can be supplied on wheels. The design incorporates some handy devices already sold separately, the bristle brush anti-backing device and life like sheep decoy. The Perkinz Crutchmaster operation involves sheep walking up into the waist high enclosed race from where the animals in simply pulled out onto its back into a cradle where a full belly crutch can be undertaken without any interference. The sheep head lock into a cradle and two ingeniously designed leg holders are available if needed. A simple release mechanism drops the animal onto its feet below the cradle. Perkins says an experienced three man team can process up to 5500 animals a day. Set up time he says takes about 10 minutes. Price is around $20,000 for a three module trailer.
Contact: Wayne Perkins,


Umarkit improvement
Barry Bennett has a new cap for his Umarkit method of avoiding double dosing.


Diesel fuel saver
Ron Kukler who won the major prize at Sheepvention 2007 has made further developments with engine conversion kits. This year Ron entered a diesel engine conversion kit which replaces the traditional fuel pump and injector with a single ‘unitised injection system’. He contends this system means a 30% reduction in diesel fuel and 30% more torque. For long haul truck operation it could mean up to $80,000 per month is fuel cost saving. The first kits have been designed for Detroit diesel engines. He anticipates making kits for other major diesel engine brands as more interest develops. Cost of each ‘unitised injector’ is around $40 each.
Contact: Ron Kukler,


Sheep counter bracket
It’s only small but this sheep counter bracket designed by Hamilton’s Robert Albert saves problems about how to secure the unit. There are three versions for in shed permanent positioning and two for transferable positioning. One has a Velcro strap so it can be easily attached to metal poles near the shearer. Price range is $5 to $7 each.
Contact: Robert Albert 0429 4111128
Simple effective equipment table
Want a light weight table to hold ear tags, vaccinators etc then farmer Marcus Winter Cooke Hamilton Vic has come up with the answer. He noticed 50 mm pipe fits firmly into the opening of drench drums. A second drum cut about 10 cm from the top and turned upside down becomes the table. If extra weight is needed for stability add some sand or water to the base drum.




















Hydrogen fuel
Penshurst inventor James Sparkes has developed a prototype hydrogen fuel supplement for his diesel Patrol four wheel drive. The unit uses an electric current to produce hydrogen from a water container position on the front bumber bar. The hydrogen is fed into the engine where it replaces a small percentage of the diesel fuel. Sparkes says 0.25l per 100 km are saved. With better design he contends up to 2 l per 100 km could be saved, and costs of setting it up a minimal. He made his hydrogen fuel cell for just $70
Contact: James Sparkes 0429 899 774
Auto weighing and drafting
Two of Australia’s leading sheep handling equipment manufacturers Atlex Stockyards and Byrne Engineering have joined forces to manufacture and market the Atlex Autodrafter. The ground or trailer mounted unit uses air operation to automatically weigh and draft sheep. According to Cameron Byrne and Ian Crafter the major development with this unit is its soft rubber clamp, which grips the sheep without any harm possible. The unit has two moveable sensors which control automatic operation of the clamp and front and rear gates. These enable the unit to accommodate any size animals or control the position they are clamped. If simple crutching is required the animals can be clamped earlier so their rear end is exposed, alternatively if drenching is required they can be clamped later so the head is more exposed. There is plenty of access to the head for drenching. Price is $25,000 without the trailer. Contact: Ian Crafter

























Lamb lotfeeding pellet
Iain MacPherson, Five Star Stockfeeds Camperdown Victoria and Christine Clark AusPac Ingredients Tamworth NSW, have developed a sheep feed pellet that contains all the ingredients that allows it to be fed ad lib from the beginning of lotfeeding. The pellet contains a range of natural ingredients which protect the rumen flora and controls intake. MacPherson says crossbred lambs should achieve around 350 gm per day growth on the pellets, around 30% greater than on whole grains and roughage. No roughage is fed with the pellets.
Contact: Iain MacPherson,
Full automated weighing plus crutching
Napier New Zealand’s Hamish and Kerryn Dale won the 2008 Australian Farm Journal Wool Award with their mobile Easy Dag and Weigh automatic handler. The approach they took was to have one software system run the entire processes rather than having separate systems for the weighing – drafting, and the handling process. Set up this way Hamish Dale says costs can be contained. The air operated, air ram unit is designed for operators weighing and drafting large number of animals who also want the capacity to undertake routine handling activities like crutching. Hamish says the unit on auto weighing and drafting mode can process 600 – 800 animals per hour. Two sensors in the handler trigger the clamp and gates as an animal passes them. These are attached on magnets so are easily adjusted for clamping animals of different size or in different positions. In the clamped position the handler can be rotated 90 degrees to present the animal for a clean up crutch. The unit can be run on automatic or controlled remotely with blue tooth pda working up to 40 m away. Hamish says the computer system uses Equinox software but is compatible with a range of manufacturers weighing systems. Price is
$NZ21,000. He contends analysis using the unit in a 4000 meat sheep ewe flock, shows savings up to $NZ24,000 in the first year of operation based around doing own crutching, more accurate weights to processor, lower fed costs if supplementary feeding for finishing. Contact: Hamish and Kerryn Dale

















Dagging unit
Napier New Zealand sheep handling equipment specialist Hamish Dale has built the Daggers Mate for farmers who already have weighing or drafting systems or do not want these incorporated into a sheep handler. The air-operated system clamps animals as the trigger sensors and air rams tip the sheep on their side. The rear one third of the clamp opens up for greater access when bellies need to be shorn. It is supplies with or without a trailer. Price is $10,600.
Contact: Hamish and Kerryn Dale








Electonic ID data capture revolution
Gallagher Animal Management Systems has made another significant step forward in electronic identification recording and analysis with the release of Smart Tsi. Instead of taking a laptop computer to the yard and connecting to a weight monitor on the scales the Smart Tsi provides full touch screen recording and analysis. According to Graeme Lia Gallagher’s product manager for ID systems this unit combines all the advantages of a laptop and monitor into one, and its virtually indestructible. The screen is specially designed so it can be clearly read in daylight. Lia says a host of features are included in the device so livestock operators who concentrate on recording and monitoring data are likely to switch to this unit. Price is $5890. Contact: Graeme Lia
Trolley improved
Geoff McErvale, Hamilton Victoria has made modifications to his Fold Away Dolly Trolley so its more convenient to use. The trolley is designed to carry down sheep from the paddock to the yards. Modifications are a permanent attachment point to the ATV rear rack, lowered attachment bar, and a leverage mechanism which makes folding the trolley up a great deal simpler. Price is $980. Contact: Geoff McErvale 0438 786 286


















Ladder clamp
Cecil Wiseman, Coffs Harbour NSW has developed a ground operated clamp for leaders that add safety to their use. The WiseMan LadaFast is an ingenious clamping method which can be used to hold a ladder tightly to guttering, pipe and even brick walls. When put into position a pully is used to ratch the holding mechanism to the ladder grips tightly to water it is attached to. It is certified for holding 250 kg. Cecil is looking for a manufacturer to commercialise the idea and estimates each unit will be prices around $400 – $500.
Contact: Cecil Wiseman 02 6651 3662
Birds eye view of water troughs
Remote monitoring of water points is catching on quickly as diesel prices soar. Cattleman, William Harrington, Richmond Qld has developed his own low cost solution. The uSee remote monitoring system is a web based camera connected to the Telstra NextG network that allows the farmer to remotely monitor any water points, sheds or outstations from anywhere in the world, using a standard web browser or a mobile phone. The portable unit relies on NextG but even in remote areas he says its large antenna enhances the area of reception. The unit comes with a solar panel to allow continuous operation. Connection cost is currently $26 per camera per month and 10 images are taken each 24 hours. Unit price is $880. Contact: William Harrington

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