You all know we have a whole bunch of sheep that graze around assorted fields near and far from our farmhouse. The sheep are pretty wild and trying to catch them when they are out grazing and enclosed only with temporary electro-net fencing is pretty darn near impossible. As our numbers of sheep and lambs have grown, so has our need for some better kind of way to corral the sheep for shearing, checking them over, and sorting. The Border Collies are indispensable at moving the sheep but they can't immobilize them!
This year we invested in a "mobile sheep handling unit." I know - just what you all want too! This thing comes from New Zealand. It is on wheels and it can be transported to the sheep on the trailer hitch of the pick-up. It is ingenious. On Sunday, we had to separate two ewe lambs from the lamb flock because we had a customer for breeding stock. The Farmer loaded up this thing and the dogs and I walked up the hill. Once we got it into the temporary fence where the lambs were, he took the wheels off.
After that, he started pulling on the first gate.
And voila, like an accordian folded piece of paper, we soon had a metal sheep corral.
In a matter of one minute, the dogs moved the sheep into the corral and our job was done. It was awesome. Boy - what a time saver for us.
In the past, we would have dragged multiple hog panels and metal fence posts to the field. Then The Farmer would have pounded the fence posts into the ground. Then we would tie on the wire hog panels to the fences. It would take forever. But this thing is darn amazing! In seconds it was up, we picked out the two sheep for the customer and loaded them into the customer's trailer. The unit folds back up quickly and now it is sitting in the driveway waiting for its next task. I know, some people have convertibles in their driveway. Not us, we have a "mobile sheep handling unit." You can read more about it on this website: Prattley sheep handling equipment from NZ.