Kiwi combination system handles 500 lambs an hour
This is Prattley's race and digital weighing crate with three-way manual drafting. It costs €3,075. "I love this set-up. One man could put up to 500 lambs per hour through this. It's the combination of the non-return gate, race and weigh-crate itself, all of which were designed with the help of animal behaviourial experts.
"For example, the solid panels on the side of the race act like blinkers on the sheep, showing them that the escape route is straight ahead. The gates themselves all slide quietly, so that the sheep remains calm. The handles for operating the gates are all at the back of the crate so that you are not moving up and down the unit, and are always positioned behind the head of the animal, again helping flow.
"The weigh crate has no linkage arms or springs, so it doesn't bounce, and the sheep don't get scared. It means that they are that bit calmer with every subsequent throughput, and you don't have to wait for the animal to settle before getting a weight. We can put an animal through this every 12 seconds."