In our commitment to provide solutions that will help to improve efficiency and free up time for other tasks are currently working on a prototype of our own automatic sheep drafting system. The drafter provides a 3 way drafting module that will allow the farmers to draft in a number of different ways depending on what they require. The 3 modes of drafting are;
- Conventional drafting via remote control. The drafter is equipped with a wireless remote control that will enable the farmer to select any 1 of the 3 gates via one of the buttons on the remote. This will enable them to carry out drafting anywhere along the race without the need to have someone manning the drafting gates. Helping to save on time and people particularly with mobs that are hard to get running.
- Weight based drafting. Prior to drafting the farmer can choose to select weight ranges for each of the gates that the drafter will send the sheep through depending on the weight of the animal. The inbuilt scales will weigh the animal and then select the appropriate gate to draft to.
- Via RFID tags. If RFID tags are being used on the animal a history and information can be collected whilst the sheep are being drafted which will enable the farmers to use this information at a later date to draft from. In particular details such as gender and number of lambs (if used when pregnancy scanning). The farmer will be able to select how they want the system to draft depending upon these selections.
The drafter is designed to provide the farmers with the information that they want at the time of drafting and without the need for sifting through files and records to see how their livestock is performing. Depending on the technology opted for farmers will be able to see.
- Weights average, minimum and maximum.
- Trend history of the weight of the mob.
- Individual animal history (where the RFID tag has been used) such as number of lambs per pregnancy and weight trends.
The system has been constructed out of “off the shelf components” that reduces the downtime in the event of component failure as these parts should be readily available from most wholesalers. This also aids in minimising the cost of construction and maintenance as these components are manufactured for a wide range of applications and are not subject to the demand of just one industry making them more cost effective for aftermarket spares and helping us keep the cost of construction down.
We have completed the fabrication and construction phase and are now working through the software development and testing.