While working hands-on is the only way to achieve the optimum results. But that doesn’t mean that he or she does it with his or her own bare hands. That’s why sheep owners must purchase their very own sheep handling equipment to manage the flock effectively.
A halter is among the most basic of sheep handling equipment. It is attached to the head of a sheep usually behind the ears and above the muzzle. The halter is used for leading, training and tying up the sheep. Sheep halters can be made of leather or rope in nylon or cotton fibers.
Moving the sheep may be a daunting task. That is why several sheep handling equipment and facilities are designed to organize the flock.
The gathering pen is another area where the sheep, all types even the small ones are collected from the pasture. While it is enclosed, it should be large and spacious enough to contain all the flock. After staying in the gathering pen, the sheep are now ushered towards the crowding pen.
The crowding pen leads to the chute or the raceway. The crowding pen is used to sort out the animals from the flock coming from the gathering pen. Small lambs or even pregnant ewes can be distinguished from the rest of the flock once they enter the crowding pen. The crowding pen should be round or four-cornered, but triangular pens are not encouraged as some sheep have the tendency to get stuck at the corner.
Here the equipment like coral and cradle come into play. The coral is used to stabilize a sheep in one area. The cradle is used to keep the sheep from walking around so that they can be checked for disease, vaccinated or checked for pregnancies.
The chute is a raceway for sheep. This is a narrow passageway held on its side with ropes or transparent fence. It should be narrow enough to fit one sheep. Chutes belong to the most important sheep handling equipment. It enables the flock to walk in a single file as if in a queue. This equipment is important especially when giving vaccines to each sheep to make sure that each and every sheep are covered and monitored. A chute can be very long that’s why it can be separated by transparent gates. However it is important that the end of the chute is not blocked, as the sheep tend to panic when it approaches a blocked passageway, and might cause stress to the whole flock
The chute further leads to gates that select which sheep will be further lead to holding pens or back to grazing.
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