“Macquarie View”, Trangie now owned by Ray and Belinda Haigh, has been in the family since the 1920’s. It would come as no surprise that after all these years there has been many improvements and upgrades completed on property in that time, one of the most recent being the purchase and installation of a set of Atlex Sheepyards.
The property is situated on the banks of the Macquarie River and is home to the Haigh family which includes Ray and Belinda’s four daughters. The Haigh’s run 1600 Merino Ewe’s as part of their crossbreed lambs programme which see Border Leicester rams go over their ewes. As well as sheep, the property also runs a small Shorthorn herd and grows both irrigated and dryland crops.
Ray Haigh is passionate about maximising the profitability of his cross bred lambs and for him upgrading to Atlex sheepyards was one way to do this.
“The new Atlex yards are part of our long term infrastructure improvement plan so far as the overall looking after of the management and welfare of our animals better, including individual animal management,” Ray said.
“The old yards we had were around when I was a boy and that was a long time ago”.
As the intensity of sheep production on “Macquarie View” grew, completing the sheepyard upgrade was very important for Ray.
“We just get the job done quicker now and can then do other things”, Ray said.
As well as traditional NLIS tags, all sheep on “Macquarie View” have an electronic identification tag which allows Ray to build a comprehensive database of sheep weights and growth rates. To help with data collection Ray has incorporated a Prattley Auto Drafter into his Atlex yards. The auto drafter drafts sheep according to a pre-set list of criteria which Ray selects. Data is analysed as sheep pass through the drafter with the help of the electronic tag.
“The sheep seem to know which way once the gates are opened. We have lots of options for our yards with the number of gates, laneways and diamond yard, allowing us to separate the sheep easily into the groups as we need to.”
This, according to Ray, is some of his favourite things about his yards.
One unusual feature of the “Macquarie View” Yards is the curved working race which Ray specifically asked for. This feature is more commonly seen in cattle yards but Ray was keen to have it included in his design.
“In floods we had to use the cattle yards for sheep work and sheep loaded really well into the curved working race, and other working races on the farm have bends and it worked well,” said Ray.
Atlex Stockyards has been specialising in on property design since 1984. Atlex survey the site, and then upload information to a laptop to assist in producing an accurate, computer aided custom designed yard. Atlex can then supply customised steel yards and installation to make your stock work quicker, easier and safer.