The shed, built with the assistance of Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), was designed and manufactured from scratch using feedback from industry and expert shearers from around Australia and New Zealand.
Barrett and AWI have aimed to design a shearing shed which addresses worker safety and animal welfare concerns, while also achieving improved shed efficiency and wool quality. The design has been refined following multiple trials in several other sheds.
Some of the key features of the shed include it is not a raised board design, extensive use of formed plastic flooring in the forcing pens, larger-than-usual exit chutes and a catching pen floor incline gradient of one on 10.
Other less obvious attributes are good levels of comfort for the shearers when they are not shearing (instant gas hot water and deep sinks for clean up, for example), the entire shearing floor being structurally able to handle wool presses and wool bales, and lower and lighter catching pen doors which swing both ways.
Kondinin Group will be featuring the shed in its Farming Ahead September Research Report, along with other examples of new approaches to yarding and handling sheep.
For further information about Hilton Barrett's shed, visit www.wool.com/sheddesign