Stock Handling & Animal Welfare

Tasmanian lamb producers work on high volume system

Sheep Central June 12, 2024

Georgie Burbury from Burbury Ag, Tasmania.

TASMANIAN lamb producer Burbury Ag will design and build an efficient high volume sheep handling system with an $85,821 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund.

Burbury Ag principal Georgie Burbury said the operation needed a system that could feed sheep efficiently into various sheep handlers from existing yards on several properties between five and 60 kilometres apart.

The lightweight panel-based system needed to be easily transportable and able to be attached to any sheep yard into multiple trailer-mounted handlers to be used at the same location simultaneously.

“We lease quite a few places so we need to be able to not make big changes to the sheep yards that we are using and we need to do bulk handling quickly but leave minimal footprint where we’ve been.

“It’s about having a system that can be easily manoeuvred between a number of properties, involving a small holding yard, a forcing yard that ‘vees’ off to two handlers.”

She said the operation utilised existing sheep handlers that were used to do a number of actions, including weighing, drenching and vaccinating etc that would allow the processing of up to 1200 sheep or lambs an hour.

Georgie said the proposed system will drive major efficiencies on the farm, reduce risk of disease, provide better animal welfare and reduce manual handling.

Georgie and husband Richard are running about 15,000 crossbred breeding ewes for prime lamb production across seven owned and leased properties with nine different sets of sheep yards in Tasmania’s northern Midlands region. Burbury Ag finishes all its lambs – about 17,500 lambs a year.

“What needed to overcome was to be able to get between our farms – the luxury would be to have it all set up permanently in one place, but we don’t have that.

“However, that shouldn’t be a barrier to continuing to expand.”

The Coles Nurture Fund aims to drive sustainability and innovation, and awarded grants of up to $500,000 to nine small and medium sized businesses from across the country in its latest round.

The latest grants bring the total financial support awarded through the Coles Nurture Fund to more than $36 million across 108 businesses since the funding initiative was established in 2015.

Coles Group chief commercial officer Anna Croft said the Round 12 recipients were chosen for their industry-leading and high-impact projects, that will achieve impressive sustainability goals to reduce waste, enhance animal welfare, and reduce their carbon footprint.

“We are proud to be able to award more than $3.7 million to nine Aussie small and medium sized businesses — located across Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia — as part of the latest round of the Coles Nurture Fund,” she said.

“I am excited to watch all of the recipients bring to life their incredible ideas in their respective industries – demonstrating they are leading the way when it comes to innovation and sustainability.”

Coles Ambassador and Nurture Fund judging panelist Curtis Stone said this year’s nine recipients were an impressive example of Aussie businesses who are driving positive change across a diverse range of industries.

“I am blown away by the wonderful list of applicants for Coles Nurture Fund for Round 12, and the nine successful businesses are extremely worthy recipients,” he said.

Australian small businesses are encouraged to apply for the 13th round of the Coles Nurture Fund via the website when applications open again in January 2025.


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