The Gympie Times
Cattle handling moves into the 21st century
Tansey couple on bleeding edge of tech
MANY years of practical cattle experience in the Tambo and Mitchell region has given the new owners of Gowanlock feed lot at Tansey the idea for an almost completed, remotely operated, pneumatic-powered cattle-handling facility.
Owners Adrian and Jenny Bucknell were sending cattle from their other properties to feed lots but decided to do their own and also grow hay at Tansey.
The handling facility has a roofed area of about 400sq m that covers a forcing pen, a semi-circular race and crush and loading ramp access.
Mr Bucknell said that cattle handling in the yards had always been looked on as timeconsuming and they had designed the system to be fast and operated by two people.
“The design means that cattle move quietly around,” he said. “They do not push each other and have ample room.”
Cattle are brought into a holding yard, the design of which is still in the final stages; a series of moveable pens used for the Carcass Classic animals are providing a test run for potential designs.
Animals move into a circular forcing pen with two moveable gates that are powered by large air rams. These move the cattle around, allowing only one entry and one exit point.
The exit point directs cattle into a stepped semi-circular race.
“The steps mean that the cattle do not try to move back against others while in the race,” Mr Bucknell said. “Each step is about 150mm high and flattens to an area large enough for an animal to stand on.”
The loading ramps to each level of a double-deck truck are also stepped and this improves the situation for cattle being loaded as they can walk the steps easier than an often steep ramp.
A gate partway around the semi-circular race allows access to the loading ramps and the crush is straight ahead with the gate open.
All aspects of the crush are pneumatically powered, providing a strong, silent closure of the head bail.
Mr Bucknell said that as well as making the regular handling of the cattle easier for the animals, it was also is easier on the operators.
“Easy cattle, easy operators and a lot less yelling and people stress,” he said.
“Two people have no trouble to put through as many cattle as you want.”
For quiet handling there is a length of pink poly pipe that is not allowed to be used.