Although this month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is usually associated with the "geek brigade", global manufacturer John Deere chose it to launch new technology aimed at farmers and growers.
However, an endorsement from a vet – whose practice has seen over 100,000 sheep pass over a conveyor trouble-free during the past 18 years – is surely a high recommendation.
The Daytech Sheep Conveyor is designed for ease of handling for all routine sheep handling tasks. Comprised of 4m long by 1.4m wide modules, the conveyor is built for any situation or breed of sheep. Featuring a heavy-duty subframe and weighing around 400kg, the units are stable – even when loaded with the heaviest animals.
The conveying element is manufactured from toughened plastic sections, joined with stainless steel pins. Meanwhile, the conveyor tracks and guide plates use low-friction, wear resistant plastics, offering exceptional resistant to pour-ons or other liquid treatments.
The use of a flexible plastic conveyor also removes any issues around constant tracking adjustments and slippage that are common in conventional belt systems.
Using fully sealed bearings throughout, the conveyor features variable- width adjustment to allow handling of lambs to larger sheep, full length stop/start bars along both sides and variable speed control, with a cushioned restart function.
Contractors and farmers are supplied the same spec machines that also feature a false floor, unique lead up race and a storage position for medications and tools on the entry guard.
Trailer-mounted models offer a stable work platform, using four wind-down stabilizers to level the machine, alongside integral stowage, a lead-up race, and extra panels or generators needed to complete the task.
The fold down headboard also incorporates a manual two-way drafting- gate that can easily be operated from the end of the conveyor.
Keeping with the unit’s portability and the likelihood that it might be used in remote off-grid locations, the power draw is only 3 to 5 amps, so the conveyor can be easily driven by a 2.5kW portable generator.
“We bought our first Daytech Sheep Conveyor in 2003. Since then, we have handled over 100,000 sheep each year for capsuling, drenching and vaccination, during which time the conveyor has proved to be extremely reliable and robust,” says the Hunterville Vet Club’s Martin T. Walsh.
“Our confidence in the product is such, that after 18 years of experience, we had no hesitation in replacing it with the same unit again, which arrived earlier in the year.”