Anyone in the livestock sector understands how difficult it is to deal with large groups of animals concurrently. This is especially true when the livestock is new to the area. Farmers need ways that make it easier for them to contain the animals and, in this case, sheep.
Sheep, in large numbers, are best kept in one place. This is so that the flow is smooth and you have total control over them in the working area. If a large number of sheep is left free, handling it becomes tiring and stressful. In this article, we discuss custom sheep yards and how useful they can be for sheep farmers.
Types of Custom Sheep Yards
Before technology advanced in the livestock rearing sector, most custom sheep yards were in two simple designs; circular sheep yards and Rectangular sheep yards. Today, there is plenty of addition to the designs to suit various needs including the commonly adopted U bugle sheep yard design. Let’s go through the mentioned custom sheep yards to understand better.
· Circular custom sheep yards
As the name suggests, these sheep yards feature a round layout. The design of circular yards became quite popular because the circular layout ensured control of the movement of sheep and thus making it easier to handle. This type of yard is said to facilitate sheep flow and provide the handler with more control over them when presenting to the working area.
From the circular design comes the half-circle, commonly known as the D yards. They have the same working design structures as well as working principles. However, the D yards are suitable for properties with fewer yards. The U bugle type of sheep yard is widely accepted by sheep producers and there is also the Y design.
Pros and cons
The movement of sheep is greatly improved as they travel in the same direction. This is also because the design uses one forcing area to bring the sheep into the working race, drafting race, dip shed, and shearing.
- It is easier for the sheep to come back to their paddock.
- The sheep handler uses little time and effort to move about the yards when having circular custom sheep yards.
- Sheep movement within the yard gets simpler with circular yards.
- It is easy to access the circular yards from a given laneway.
- It is cheaper to construct these custom sheep yards compared to other designs in terms of material cost.
- The yards require more strategic planning and setting out compared to the rectangular yards.
- Those operating the custom sheep yards need some getting used to.
Rectangular sheep Yards
For years, rectangular sheep yards have been adopted by many people around the world because most facilities are easily managed in a rectangle. The setting out of these custom sheep yards is straightforward, following an accustomed practice (straight lines and right angles).
Pros of rectangular sheep yards
- Reliable layouts
- The yards can offer more than one way of operation through the working areas.
- Sheep moves along a straight line and thus providing clear visibility for the sheep.
- It is easier and faster to construct these custom sheep yards.
- The handler walks a great distance before getting to the untreated sheep.
- Consumes a lot of time and effort for sheep to start and finish their movements in the yards.
- Since there is more than one-way operation, the movement of sheep in the yards can lead to a collision.
Managing a large flock of sheep can be a daunting experience, especially with little research and knowledge. Knowing that you can have custom sheep yards is essential in handling the sheep. The yards make the work easier for both the handler and the sheep.