HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : September 2019
60 ON FARM Former world record shearer and shearing contractor Hilton Barrett from Dubbo in Central West NSW has more than 30 years of wool harvesting experience. Hilton also operates a mixed farming and grazing operation near Dubbo where he shears between 2,000 to 7,000 head of sheep and lambs each year. With this breadth of experience and having shorn in a vast range of sheds, Hilton was keen to develop a world-class design to address common issues that arise in traditionally designed sheds. OPTIMISING THE SHEARING SHED Over time, some of these issues have become more apparent, limiting Hilton's ability to optimise the efficiency and health of his staff and sheep. Key areas of concern for Hilton included: • significant injuries caused to staff due to shed layout and design, particularly shearers dragging heavy sheep around corners from catching pens to the board • inefficiencies during penning up, which can considerably slow down shearing • the long distances walked by some of the shearing team each day (for example from the board to the wool table carrying fleeces), many kilometres in some cases. Factors contributing to these issues include: • larger sheep, particularly relatively new composite meat breeds • a growing number of ageing sheds, many that may not have been well maintained in the past 20-30 years • an ageing workforce • a general shortage of experienced workers and issues retaining staff • more rigorous quality targets to improve woolgrower returns through less wastage, contamination of wool and animal stress INNOVATIVE SHEARING SHED FOR ALL • an increased awareness of animal welfare issues. Hilton recognised that solutions were needed to provide: • more efficient and safer working environments that minimise injuries, prolong professional careers and improve worker retention • improved efficiency to minimise wool harvesting costs and make flexible and affordable state-of-the-art shed designs readily available • a high standard of animal welfare, including reduced stress • less contamination and improved wool quality • greater efficiency and through-put (higher daily shearing tallies which benefits the shearer and woolgrower). THE DESIGN PROCESS After sharing his vision with AWI and local project management consultants Schuster Consulting Group, 13 wool harvesting experts including shearers, wool handlers, woolgrowers and classers, were invited to tour six shearing sheds in Central West NSW. The objective of the tour was to identify the key design features of each shed which influenced sheep flow, efficiency, wool quality and the welfare of both sheep and workers. Each expert provided an independent assessment of the sheds from their own professional perspective. “We went to multiple sheds and picked out the best parts out of them.” Hilton Barret An online survey of shearers, wool classers, wool handlers and woolgrowers was also conducted. Respondents were asked to rate specific features of sheds in terms of the impact they have on the shearing process, worker safety, animal welfare and wool quality. Critical design features consistently raised by respondents included: • optimising lighting and ventilation • minimising noise • eliminating sharp edges and catch points • reducing the length of drag and number of turns between the catch point and the workstation • improving the flow of sheep (during filling, catching, drag and let-go) • enhancing wool room design. The outcomes of the shed review and survey FAST FACTS • With AWI support during the past 18 months, Hilton Barrett has designed a shearing shed which improves the efficiency of workers and the flow of livestock – while optimising worker safety, animal welfare and the quality of wool preparation. • The design was developed following extensive industry consultation with shearers, wool handlers, classers and woolgrowers, plus reviews of existing working sheds. Multiple trials led to refinements and a final design. • The blueprints of the shed’s design are available free on the AWI website. The internal fit-out, incorporating the stands and yards, has been designed to have its own structural integrity so it can be built within any suitable pre- existing shell. • In July, 400 people attended an open day at Hilton’s shed that was built based on his designs. Shearing contractor and woolgrower Hilton Barrett, with support from AWI, has designed a shearing shed which addresses worker safety and animal welfare concerns, while also achieving improved shed efficiency and wool quality. The designs of the shed are available free to all woolgrowers. More than 400 woolgrowers, brokers, shearers and wool handlers turned up at the ‘Arrow Park’ open day in July to see the shed in action.
In the Shops - September 2019