EASY ACCESS: Cattle-free working areas allow jillaroo Brittany Abberton to handle cattle safely and efficiently.ADVERTISING FEATUREGriff Symonds and wife Janet manage Mt Flora Station, which sits between Nebo and Moranbah inQueensland.
With head stockman Matt Garside,Griff and their team have just completed 11 weeks of mustering and employ manyjackaroos and jillaroos.
“We’ve got a crew of new staff and they’re very capable, but they’re still learning as well,” Griff said.
“Our old yards were fairly labour-intensive and you needed to spend more time in with the cattle.
“Now that we’ve built these, stock work is much safer and more efficient because they’re able to work the cattle without getting in with them. That tends to let them build confidence and develop cattle handling skills.
“We’re a commercial beef herd operation, primarily Droughtmaster-Brahman, running about 7500 adult breeders and we’re turning off weaners, direct to market.
“We’re probably coming off our busiest time of year.
“We’ve sent 1100steers, and just in the past two or three days there have been 400 heifers go to market, plus, prime cows to sales in Rockhampton in recentweeks.”
Griff contacted ProWay Livestock Equipment after seeing cattleyards in operation near Emerald and Dingo. “There’s a numberof ProWay yards that I’ve delivered to and I was very impressed with the construction quality and safety aspect.”
From here ProWay worked closely with Griff to design a system that suited his needs and operation.
“It was an excellent experience,” Griff said. “Initially we were looking at building something ourselves with a fairly traditional straight race, but we’re very happy that we went this way. The safety and stock flow benefits are clear.
“The yards went in about threemonths ago and installation was a matter of weeks. As soon as they were completed, we had cattle coming into the yards and it’s made a big difference, particularly processing our weaners.
“If you look at the overall expense they are an asset that will last at least 40 or 50 years. They’ll see me out and more than likely see my son out. Over that time, a fairly cheap investment.”
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