Two Aussie lads have made the back-breaking job of vaccinating, drenching and mouthing ewes a whole lot easier.
Joe Hoban and Troy Brose came all the way from Wagga Wagga in New South Wales to demonstrate their sheep bulk handler at this month's Southern Field Days at Waimumu.
The pair, who are the driving force behind ProWay Livestock Equipment, have won several awards with their invention at field days across Australia including first prize at the Sheepvention Invention Awards in 2012.
"A lot of farmers have bad backs and bad knees.
"This makes those jobs such as vaccinating, drenching and mouthing ewes so much easier," Mr Hoban said.
Sheep are ushered into the race section of the handler in groups of 20 to 30 at a time, depending on size, and the grated floor is then lifted hydraulically, with sheep brought to the waist height of the operator.
Mr Hoban said the sheep were ideally positioned for a majority of husbandry operation and were unable to tunnel or bury their heads.
"You're not having to get in with the sheep and wrestle them," he said.
The handler had been on the market for about two years in Australia and about 45 units had been sold.
Mr Hoban said operator fatigue and physical strength was minimised with the handler and throughput levels were very high because of the quick filling times.
The handler could also be easily used by one person and all sheep were accessible from one side, he said.
"Farmers like it because it makes handling sheep so much easier and they need less skilled labour."
The handler was being further developed for dagging ewes.
- Otago Southland Farmer