An automatic weight drafting system that helps cut the reliance on labour has been introduced by Irish firm O’Donnell Engineering.
The standalone design, built at the company’s factory in Emly, County Tipperary, can form a two- or three-way drafting unit.
A digital weighing indicator has pre-set weight thresholds for the drafting range of the animals. In automatic mode, the animal walks in and the rear gates close. It is then weighed and the ear tag information is logged.
The weight of the animal then automatically triggers the correct gate to open so it can exit into a holding pen. The exit gate closes before the next animal can enter.
The quick recording of information can help farmers make decisions on feed, treatment and selling dates, says the company. The drafting unit retails for €10,000 (£8,705).