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Beyond the Bale : December 2017
Formerly known as Meander Rise, the newly established Meander Lakes in Westwood, Tasmania, is currently undergoing significant redevelopment through the work of owner Richard Carling and manager Ross Young. The property spans more than 5,000 acres with roughly 2,000 acres of bush country, 2,000 grazing and a further 1,000 acres of improved pastures and irrigation. The enterprise is looking to increase stocking rates and run a mixed livestock operation of composite ewes and beef cattle. For Ross and the team, the initial plan included a complete redevelopment of infrastructure to facilitate growth. “Richard purchased the property about 12 months ago. Since then, we’ve spent a lot of money on improvements such as fencing, irrigation upgrades and livestock handling facilities,” Ross said. “The end goal is to run 4,000 composite ewes here plus some cattle.” As well as more than 20km of new fencing, the property redevelopment included a state- of-the-art shearing shed, and sheep and cattle handling facility in an effort to boost safety and efficiency of the livestock enterprise. With a large shelter covering both the sheep and cattle facilities, Ross and his team can work comfortably in all weather conditions while offering extended dry storage of sheep during shearing. Other improvements include a kitchen and lunchroom facilities, toilets and a new workshop. “When Richard bought the place, we sat down and drew up a plan of what we wanted to do in the next five years. Ideally we’ll have this set up for a one-man operation and this facility is helping us make it a lot simpler and quicker. “The shed here is a fair-sized shed for Tasmania standards. The idea is to get out of the weather when we work on the animals. Out of the sun, out of the wind and out of the rain. It just makes life a lot easier.” The combination sheep and cattle handling facility designed by ProWay stockyard designer Joe Hoban, is housed under EASIER ON STAFF AND SHEEP Woolgrowing and shearing have always been physically tough livelihoods, but the state-of-the-art new shearing shed and handling facility on ‘Meander Lakes’ in Westwood, Tasmania, has made the livestock operation physically easier, more efficient and safer. a single gable roof structure supplied by Aussie Sheds Tasmania. The stockyards link strategically with the new shearing shed which holds approximately 400 sheep on elevated grating. The shearing shed fitout features a 4-stand straight board design and is constructed with a combination of pre-fabricated, galvanised framework and cypress pine joinery on-site. The board is built with return races for animal welfare purposes and to improve the count out process, while individual catching pens are sloped for shearers, making the drag easier. Each shearer has an individual large shelf to house their combs, cutters and tools. The grating in the holding pens is a contemporary fiberglass composite that boasts high strength, longevity and noise reduction. The product is relatively new to the market and supplied by Grating Tasmania with a surface that is also non-slip and easy to clean. Much of the yards allow multi-species management with the addition of sheep proof cattle panels and gates, increasing the overall holding capacity and flexibility of the system. The sheepyards include a unique “lift-swing” sheep rotary force and curved sheeted race which leads up to a TePari Racewell Handler. Other features include a raised classing race, serpentine draft and concrete footbath. All animals are managed through the facility for a variety of husbandry operations. EID ear tags are utilised, allowing Ross to track growth rates and progeny through the electronic scanning system, improving the overall traceability and genetic improvement on the property. “Currently we bring the sheep in from the yards straight through to the shearing shed. They are shorn and we then take them back around the yards for weighing, drenching and electronic ear tagging. It certainly works and it works really well.” MORE INFORMATION: For more information and a video of the shed in action, visit www.proway.com. au/2017/06/meander-lakes Manager, Ross Young overseeing the shearing at Meander Lakes. The four-stand straight board shearing platform. The Sheep Rotary Force featuring a lift-swing gate. The Meander Lakes sheep handling facility, enabling work to be completed regardless of the weather. Minimise stress maximise stock flow improve safety Well-designed wool sheds and stock yards make your livestock operation more profitable for the following reasons: Provide the safest working environment for you and your staff. Less labour required to handle livestock. Ensure stockwork and shearing is finished on time and on budget. Quality infrastructure that adds longevity of infrastructure. Reduce maintenance and st Reduce maintenance and stress. This is why it’s important to get it right the first time ProWay wool sheds, sheepyards and handling equipment are designed to: Making the livestock industry more efficient, safe & profitable Proudly Australian designed and manufactured www.proway.com.au 1300 655 383 stock yards Loading ramps Handling Equipment shearing sheds ON FARM 59