TAKE two for an open day at Geoff and Linda Bilney's innovative new shearing shed at Broome Farm, Kojonup, will be next Thursday, February 25.
The shed is the first in WA to incorporate design elements derived from an Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) funded shearing shed improvement project in New South Wales, with Mr Bilney, his builder and shearing contractor flying to Dubbo before the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year to inspect a NSW shed.
Since it was completed in November, more than 30,000 sheep have been shorn in Mr Bilney's shed.
The open day was originally scheduled for earlier this month, but a COVID-19 outbreak and partial regional border lockdown caused it to be cancelled because some of the people involved in the design and construction would have been unable to attend, Mr Bilney said.
Glenpadden Farms' shearing contractor Darren Byrne will have some of his team shearing next Thursday, so visitors can see the shed operating and can gauge for themselves how successful the design is.
Builder, Chad Lavender of Chippy Chad & Co Construction, is also planning to be there to answer questions and AWI WA stakeholder engagement co-ordinator Ellie Bigwood also plans to attend.
The shed, at Broome Farm, 1502 Old Broomhill-Kojonup Rd, Kojonup, will be open from 7am to 5pm.
Light refreshments will be available.
As previously reported in Farm Weekly, the six-stand shed features a repeatable three-pen and board modular design with sufficient holding capacity for at least two shearing runs and multidirectional plastic grate flooring for laneway and holding pens.
Catching pens feature a sloping grated floor so sheep naturally stand facing away from double swing gates, ready for the shearer to drag them back to the board.
The catching pens are angled around the horseshoe-shaped flat board so it is a straight drag for the shearer, reducing risk of back injury from having to twist or turn and the angle and saw-tooth arrangement of discharge chutes maintains that straight line.
One of the design changes specified by Mr Bilney was an underfloor height of 2.7 metres to allow a skid-steer loader to clean out an expected 61 centimetres build up of sheep manure a year.
Apart from its own commercial flock of 4500 Dohne ewes, Glenpadden Farms operates a sheep feedlot which sees 65,000-70,000 sheep and lambs shorn over 42 weeks a year.
For information on the open day, contact Ellie Bigwood, 0458 569 109.