This month we welcome Peter Desailly to the team! Peter has a wealth of experience with both sheep and cattle. He has joined the team as a Stockyard Designer in NSW and QLD, and will be based in Dubbo, NSW.
Here we spend 5 minutes getting to know Peter!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up on a sheep station near a little town called Moulamein in south-west NSW.
In a nutshell, tell us about your experience with livestock?
When I left school I worked in Western Queensland for 17 years on sheep and cattle stations that ran large numbers, working my way up from a Jackeroo to Management. I then spent another 8 years in the Riverina on large sheep properties.
In my early forties I returned to full time study for 12 months and obtained a diploma of Agribusiness. From there I gained a position in the live export industry with “Elders International”, exporting breeding sheep and cattle to Russia, China, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates. At times I would attend vessel discharge of the stock in foreign ports and sometimes fly with airfreight consignments of sheep or cattle into more remote areas of China. This would occasionally involve arriving before the livestock to guide the importer on yard design and stock handling in their importing quarantine facilities. All of his resonated with my genuine interest in animal behaviour, psychology and low stress stock handling.
What is your memory of being in the sheepyards as a kid?
I have very good memories in the yards. There weren’t really any bad stories, as my father was a very good stockman and taught us as kids very well around how to handle livestock. How to get them to go calmly where you want without all the unnecessary noise and yelling. There were often five of us kids helping Dad in the yards on weekends and school holidays! In my working life, I have certainly seen people become very frustrated in the yards, and have been able to picture in my head how it could be done better by changing just a couple of things with the set up or design.
What got you excited about stockyard design?
I’ve always been passionate about agriculture and solving problems with stock handling. I genuinely enjoy travelling to meet with landholders, discussing their needs, and coming up with a solution the client is happy with, which will be an asset for years to come and they will enjoy working in.
In your experience, what sets a good design apart in sheepyards?
Sheep have the need to escape, so they need to feel comfortable moving in the direction you want them to move. The have an innate desire to follow their mates, so a good yard design allows the sheep to see where they are going and positions the operator where they aren’t hindering the movement of stock.
In your experience, what sets a good design apart in cattleyards?
Safety is paramount for both people and livestock, so a design that allows cattle to flow without becoming frightened or stirred up is a key. Ensure animals flow and move through the yards without people getting agitated themselves. The yards need to be practical and cost effective.
If you would like to book an On Property Design with Peter (or one of our other Stockyard Designers), please call us on 1800 805 292.