Both the 2014 Farm Safety Scheme and the new TAMS II grants are driving huge interest in sheep handling systems, according to Dessie Donohoe of Performance Steel in Oldcastle, Co. Meath.

He says he is ‘inundated’ with calls since the schemes were launched and has delivered new sheep handling systems to farmers throughout the country.

Under the 2014 Farm Safety Grant, farmers could avail of 40% grant aid for sheep handling equipment. This year, sheep handling equipment will be among the items eligible for grant aid under the new TAMS II farm investment schemes.

Farmers will be able to avail of grant aid of 40% with eligible young farmers entitled to grant aid of 60% for the equipment.

Young farmers interested in investing in sheep handling facilities can apply for TAMS II support via the Young Farmer Capital Investment scheme opened by Minister Coveney in June. The scheme including sheep handling equipment has yet to open for other farmers under TAMS II.

Minister Coveney said he would be making further announcements in the coming weeks on the launch of the remaining TAMS Schemes, including the new Low Emission Slurry Spreading Scheme which is also being prioritised for early opening.

According to Donohoe, the most popular sheep handling systems which he distributes include:

The ‘Bugle’ system – €3,400+VAT

race 1The ‘Bugle’ tapers to naturally force animals from a wider pen into the sorting race via a semi-circular forcing pen.

It’s approximately 7,300mm long x 4,000mm wide, and holds 40-50 animals.

Further holding and dispersal pens can be added but, initially, they can be made from interlocking sheep hurdles (not included).

Animals can be diverted into a 5550mm long x 915mm wide pen prior to the drafting gate if required.

Short swing and slide gate allows the forcing pen to be full all of the time, while sheeted race can be tapered if required when working with lambs.

Kit comprises:

  • 1 x 2500mm 6 railed hurdle
  • 2 x 3050mm 6 railed hurdle
  • 1 x 2500mm rail sheeted hurdle
  • 2 x 3050mm rail sheeted
  • 1 x 2500mm pair of 6 railed gates in frame
  • 1 x drafting/stop gate
  • 3050mm 6 railed hurdle
  • 1 x 915mm 6 railed swing gate in frame
  • 1 x 2500mm sheeted shedding hurdle
  • 1 x 2500mm 6 railed hurdle c/w swing gate
  • 1 x 1686mm swing and slide gate in frame
  • 1 x lift and swing guillotine gate
  • 3 x 1690mm 3 rail sheeted radius hurdle
  • 2 x drop over catch
  • 1 x 1150mm 3 rail sheeted radius hurdle
  • 1 x race joiner
  • 21 x coupling bars
  • 1 x guillotine rope and pulley kit

Alligator mobile sheep system – €6,500+VAT

The best mobile sheep handling system on the market.

Manufactured in aluminium, he says it’s durable, versatile, lightweight, easy to use and cost effective.

Available for immediate collection or prompt delivery. Easily assembled and dismantled, Alligator is suitable for use on all terrains. A complete system is light enough to be towed by a quad but can also be towed comfortably over long distances by road.

Every Alligator system is assembled to meet the needs of the individual buyer by the company’s Alligator Specialist, Chris Byrne.

With the Alligator system, dosing sheep is a one-person job. Create a collecting pen and dosing race single-handedly and in less than 15 minutes, even at remote sites and on rough terrain.

Keeping livestock movements to an absolute minimum improves productivity. Moving sheep around takes time, poses an increased risk to biosecurity and can create extra movement paperwork.

Sheep System ‘A’ – €3,250+VAT

race 2

Approximately 10,000mm long x 5,000mm wide with the capacity to hold 40-60 animals.

It’s sliding gates allow stock to move freely through the 2,500mm wide holding pens, Dessie says.

Swing and slide gate allows the forcing pen to be full all of the time, he says, while the swing and slide gate extends the length of the race when in the closed position.

Sheeted race can be tapered if required when working on lambs and a drafting/stop gate at the end of the race can shed animals into two small sorting pens each holding 10-16 animals, Dessie says.

The Kit Comprises:

  • 6 x 2500mm 6 rail hurdle
  • 4 x 2500mm 4 rail sheeted hurdle
  • 4 x 2500mm 6 rail sliding gate hurdle
  • 1 x drafting/ stop gate
  • 1 x 1524mm 6 rail hurdle
  • 1 x race joiner
  • 23 x coupling rods
  • 1 x 255 swing and slide gate
  • 1 x guilotine gate c/w swing and slide gate pivot
  • 1 x guilotine gate rope and pulley kit
  • 2 x 2000mm 6 railed radius hurdle
  • 1 x 660mm 6 railed hurdle

For more information on these systems contact Performance Steel in Oldcastle Co. Meath at or phone (049) 8542 907.