The dread of all sheep farmers – the open gate. Sheep all separated into pens, some to go one direction some to go another and then a gate is left open, or a gate is not latched properly and all the sheep get mixed. Now the separation process has to be repeated. Such was the disaster on the farm of Karol and Peter McCaughan who farm near Ballycastle, Co Antrim in Northern Ireland. They use Select Sheepware.
80+ ewes with single female lambs at foot had been separated from the main flock and were ready to be taken to the hill, when the dreaded open gate happened and the 80 ewes with female lambs at foot got mixed with all the other sheep.
Karol says his first call was to George from TGM. First George connected to the farm computer via Teamviewer and then set to work. With a few mouse clicks, all ewes which had a single female lamb born this year were filtered – 84 ewes. An alert was set on these ewes. Then all female lambs born this year from those ewes were filtered with a few more mouse clicks. An alert was set on the 84 female lambs. Finally, the sheep database was transferred into an Agrident APR600 EID reader.
Karol ran the sheep through the race, reading each animal. When the EID was read for each of the 84 ewes and the 84 female lambs, the reader beeped loudly and displayed the alert. The animals were drafted out and dispatched to the hill. The total time for filtering the sheep on the computer was no more than 15 minutes and running the animals through the race and drafting the sheep with alerts was quick and easy.
George says he has helped a number of users who have had the same issue and the Select Sheepware filtering, sorting and alert functions are exceptionally comprehensive, allowing users to set alerts on sheep according to many different criteria. Sometimes routine, like ewes with the highest lamb production values, sometimes specific to an individual situation such as a gate being left open and sheep getting mixed up.