A serious sheep farmer needs a serious setup to get the job done properly and those who are making the switch to automated sheep handling are the ones getting the most benefit out of their sheep operations. Jono Merriman, sheep producer in Boorowa, NSW was one of the first farmers in his area to switch to automated operations when he purchased a Clipex Sheep Handler; a world class handler which gives you the best sheep access of any on the market and since then, has benefitted from the change significantly.
Owner of two merino studs – Koonwarra Merino Stud and Merrignee Merino, Jono Merriman is a 3rd generation Aussie farmer on their property; Little Range following on from his great grandfather’s sheep enterprise. C T Merriman & Son currently run about 8,000 sheep at any given time.
Being in the industry almost all his life, Jono Merriman has been watching how technology has been changing the way we do farming from afar and made the decision to search the market to improve his sheep handling operations.
“Initially, some of the struggles have been figuring out what sheep handler would suit us. With the amount of new machinery and yards which have come out in the last 10 years, it takes time knowing what products will suit you best. Initially we started off searching for a better set of bugles but overtime we watched people go in early in the automatic sheep handling and decided to follow suite.”
“We tried two other machines and looked at a third but the Clipex sheep handler fitted into our yards better and was able to do what we wanted it to do. Some other machines are very big and strong but only do a limited amount of jobs.”
Now using the Clipex Sheep Handler for over 12 months, Jono Merriman feels “one of the biggest benefits has been the manual labour component taken out of the operations. Because your taking away that physical side, your not as fatigued at the end of the day.”
“When the sheep are flowing right and the handler is in the right spot, one person can get through a number of jobs at once - drenching, vaccinating ect. There is no pushing and shoving on your body too much.”
“However the access we get to the the sheep is what really makes the big difference for us. Whether that is through the back tail gate or the head flap, the ability to get to the whole animal is what made us buy a clipex machine.”
Author: Louise Olsson, - Clipex