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Shearing Sheds and Sheep Yards
The design of shearing sheds and sheep yards affect the efficiency of sheep work as well as the health and wellbeing of both people and sheep. We work with industry experts to provide woolgrowers with shearing shed designs.
Careful planning the design of new sheds or the renovation of existing ones can:
- Improve efficiency and reduce costs of wool harvesting
- Make the job easier
- Improve operator safety
- Ensure animal welfare standards are met
Shearing Shed Consultation & Design Project
Australian Wool Innovation recently collaborated with shearing contractor and woolgrower, Hilton Barrett to design a shearing shed which addresses worker safety and animal welfare considerations, while also achieving improved shed efficiency and good wool quality outcomes.
The design was developed following extensive industry consultation and reviews of existing working sheds. Further design refinements were made following multiples trials.
This design provides positive outcomes for the shearing team, the wool producer and the sheep.
Shearing Shed Design Details
Shed Entry Ramp
- Wide ramp and entry
- Walkway and rails
- Soft grip flooring for sure footing
- Boarded fence improves flow and noise
- Non directional plastic floor for drainage and minimal light penetration
- In-shed storage and covered external yards
- Wide swing gates
- Repeatable three pen and board modular design
- Straight drag from catching pen to workstation
- Saw tooth design presents shorn sheep to chute
- Horse shoe design minimises distance from stand to wool table/bins/press
- Straight drag from catching pen to workstation
- Adjustable overhead gear positioning
- Enough room for shed hands to assist shearer and clear away wool
- Timber board/pen division, reduces noise and vibrations
- Non-slip, smooth tongue and groove work area surface, improves sheep handling, impact absorption and wool handling
- Room on chute for shearer’s gear
- Non-stick surface for ease of wool transfer and clean up
- Distance from workstation to wool table/bins/press minimised
- Even, short distances between stands and wool table
- Flexible configuration, portable wool bins, wool table and press(es)
- Load bearing floor to allow press(es) to be moved to suit configuration
- Well-lit woolhandling/classing areas
- Access stairs and safety rail for wool room
- Portable wool bins and press
- Ample room to store/transfer bales
- Load bearing floor across wool room for press(es)
- Space for presser’s utilities
- Truck access
- Safety rails
Catching, Filling and Laneway Pens
- Painted, high visibility step into the catching pen from fill pen
- Sloped catching pen aids filling, presents sheep facing away from shearer, assists with drag
- Timber slats parallel to path of drag to assist drag
- Catching pen free from obstacles such as recessed chute
- Logical pen sizing, three pens together hold over 70 head, on average enough for two runs
Catching Pen Doors
- Dual catching pen doors, light weight timber to reduce noise and impact
- Double action swing for ease of entry and exit
- High enough to baulk sheep, low enough to avoid contact with shearer’s elbows
- Gap below doors to stop feet getting wedged (sheep and people)
- Rounded corners
- Right hand chute door clear of impact when swung onto board
- Boarded fences improve sheep flow and reduce noise
- Swing/slide gate, easy to open and acts as a wing when filling
- Non-directional formed plastic floor for drainage, high wear and minimal light penetration to assist sheep flow
- Wide and recessed to facilitate easy release
- Vibration free top for storage of shearing accessories
- Drop off at chute entrance to minimise sheep resistance
- Graduated slope for controlled decent
- Uninterrupted chute exit
- Tongue and groove floor improves, sheep handling, impact absorption and woolhandling
- Timber absorbs sound
- No sharp edges
- Shed safety signage
- First aid kit kept on site
- Directions, coordinates and contact numbers
- Multipurpose concrete storage
- Truck access for loading
- Shower and toilets
- Enclosed kitchen space
- Preparation surfaces and kitchen accessories
- Table and chairs
- Hot and cold water
- Large sink and shower head
- Perspex corrugated sheeting supplies natural diffracted light
- Overhead LED lighting to illuminate workstation and wool for classing
- Minimal unwanted light under shed
- Formed plastic pen flooring minimises light/ shadows below pens
- Large windows and a shutter design encouraging air flow
- Air conditioning installed
- Will hold more than a run per pen
- Clear overhead space, easy access
- Undercover sheep storage under wool room
Highly skilled, professional staff are essential to the the Australian wool industry.
It is important that all employees are provided clean, comfortable and safe accommodation and amenities that at least meet the standards set by each state.
I like to treat people the way I’d want to be treated myself. I want them ringing up wanting to come and shear my sheep. If I give them good facilities, they will give me good results.’
The Rural Workers Accommodation Act in your state sets out the current standards and requirements.
AWI provides shed safety signage kits for woolgrowers to use in their woolsheds.
The kit contains 36 safety signs that are printed on UV-stabilised polypropylene for durability, with pre-drilled holes for easy installation. The kit also includes guidance notes to assist in the proper location and installation of these signs.
Developed and produced by the WA Shearing Industry Association (WASIA), with support from AWI, these signs meet Australian Standards and legislative requirements in all Australian states and will help woolgrowers meet occupational health and safety obligations.
AWI has sponsored the development and production of the kit and is making it available to woolgrowers at the handling and postage cost of $25 (including GST) per kit.
The Shed Safety signage kit is only available for delivery within Australia.
To order a shed safety signage kit fill out this form.