State-of-the-art sheep handling technology is enabling one Victorian enterprise to track weight gain in lambs on different feeding systems, and provide a tight range of carcase weights to processors, according to a Te Pari spokesman.
The spokesman said the technology also enables the family to increase labour efficiency, and streamline flock production goals of lifting lambing percentage, reducing mature ewe body weight and improving fleece traits.
The Lyons family runs 4500 self-replacing maternal composite ewes on the 774 hectare Dundas Park at Hamilton, and turn off around 6000 lambs a year.
The ewes are joined to Highlander and White Suffolk rams to produce both maternal and terminal lines.
The family upgraded to a Te Pari Racewell HD3 sheep handler from a manual system, and has gone one step further to install the new HD4 model fitted with the Te Pari T30 in 2019.
The HD4 has an auto sensing backing hook to improve sheep flow, an adjustable lead up race to prevent young lambs turning around and a fourth auto drafting gate.
The easy to use dashboard has different operating modes including fast drench mode.
The T30 is an IP65 rugged tablet running a Microsoft operating system, allowing producers to manage animal data in the yards, sync it to a cloud server and then retrieve it in the office.
It is a waterproof, multi-functional and fast scale system.
Te Pari load bars are mounted under the weigh platform, crate or crush and connect to a black box, which calculates the animal's weight, and wirelessly sends the data to the T30.
Tom Lyons was encouraged to evaluate the Te Pari products about five years ago when Hamilton Farm Supplies became a distributor.
He liked the fact the operator could work from both sides of the machine and appreciates the fourth draft gate.
"The novelty of using a manual weigh crate wears off after about 10 lambs," he said.
"We needed to be able to work from both sides of the machine as our bugle fed in from a clockwise direction. We work on the inside for drafting and crutching on the other side.
"The HD4 has more computing power through the T30, and is a very robust machine plus the anti-backing lead up race is handy, allowing us to increase throughput by 25 per cent.
"When releasing an animal from the horizontal position, as soon as it is lifted vertically and touches the bottom of the crate, the machine releases the animal automatically.
"When crutching, that is another thing I don't have to press."
Mr Lyons said the HD4 and T30 unit was lifted into place with a gantry when needed in the spring, summer and autumn.
Ewes are vaccinated, drenched, weighed and condition scored through the Racewell, and are classed and drafted to a predetermined code on pregnancy status, maternal or terminal.
- Visit: www.au.tepari.com