A Shearing shed needs to be carefully designed in order that the jobs needed to be performed during the shearing process are easy to perform in the shed. Other important parts of the design include thinking about entry and exits for the sheep and how easy the shed will be to clean once the job is done. Here are a few different designs of the shearing shed that have been popular over time.
Traditionally shearing sheds have been designed around two different board designs. These are the center-board and the across board.
a center-board shearing shed is designed so the shearer will take the sheep from a pen outside the shed straight onto the board. Once the sheep is shorn, it will be let out through a race or chute. This design offers a range of benefits as the distance the sheep has to be taken from the pen is reduced resulting also in less interference between shearers and shed workers.
Using this design means that the shearer will catch the sheep from a pen opposite the shearing stand and will take the sheep ‘across-the-board’ to the shearing position. The sheep will leave the shed behind the stand, leaving the board on the opposite side to the catching pen. This design results in congestion of workers within the shed as they will be constantly crossing paths.
Raised Shearing Board
This design reduces interference between all the parties in the shearing shed as it simplifies the process. The design allows for safety of the shearer as well as making it easier for workers when picking up fleeces.
There are several variations of this design as it can be built in a straight line or curved design as well as being suited to U or L shapes.
The raised board design allows for the option of whether to make the wool room at ground level. By doing this under-floor storage is lost and bales will need to be lifted when loading them. However a ground level shed can be used for other purposes such as machinery storage through other seasons.
Curved Shearing Board
This design can be used for both conventional and raised board sheds. The curved board makes the catching process easier and there is a reduced walking distance for shed workers carrying shorn fleeces to the wool table or press.
If you are using front fill catching pens, this design is recommended to be the most efficient.
Internal Shearing Shed Systems
Let-go Systems- The aim of this system is to move the shorn sheep off the shearing board quickly without hassles. Most versions of this system will hold the sheep from each shearing stand separate until they are counted out.
Chutes- These are constructed from timber or galvanized steel. Sheep are released underneath the shed through a sliding chute.
By receding the shoot into the shearing board the sheep are more easily dropped out via the chute.
Internal Races are popular in colder places as droughts will become less of an issue. The flow of woolly sheep can be hindered if the race running along the shed behind the filling pens and exit doors are not planned carefully.