WATCH: A day in the life of a mobile plunge sheep dipper


Kevin Sheridan is a farmer from Oldcastle, Co. Meath who offers a mobile plunge sheep dipping service.

The Meath native began dipping sheep in 2008; he planned to build his own dipping tank; however, he decided against this as his land is fragmented, meaning that he would have to bring the entire flock to the dipping yard.

"We decided to build a dipper and bring it to the sheep. I could see that there was a bit of demand for a mobile sheep dipper in my area so, in 2012, I decided to take the plunge and build a bigger plunge dipper."

A Day in the Life

Kevin begins his day at 6 am by having his breakfast; gathering the equipment he will need for his day including the generator; water pump; dip and waterproof gear before attaching the sheep dipping trailer to the jeep.

He dips approximately 80-90 adult sheep per hour and around 120 lambs per hour - all depending on the size of the sheep.

Procedure

In this video - the day in the life of a mobile plunge sheep dipper - brought to you by Bimeda, Kevin visited two clients. He arrived on the first farm comprising of 120 sheep in Collinstown, Co. Westmeath.

He then ventured to a farm comprising of approximately forty Texel-cross and Zwartbles sheep in Mount Nugent, Co. Cavan.

"When we arrived on-farm, we set up the sheep dipper; pulled out all the ramps and got the gates set up from behind. After that, we got the dipping solution ready for operation." Kevin Sheridan explained.

Kevin outlined the process involved when dipping sheep using ECTOFLITS - a product manufactured by Bimeda Ireland that is used for the prevention and treatment of blowfly strike; ticks; keds; lice and scab infestations.

"I am using ECTOFLITS for the past eight years with excellent results and the farmer is also very very pleased with the thrive that the sheep will do afterwards."

In this video, he explained the design of the unit; the flow of the sheep (the unit can hold three adult sheep per time); how the sheep progress to the draining area and outlined the protective gear that he wears while carrying out this procedure on-farm.

"As the sheep enter onto the dipper, there is a guinea pig standing up at the front; she encourages the rest of the sheep to walk up to her."

"When they walk up on top of the platform, there is a tapered floor; when the sheep's back legs go onto the tapered floor, they automatically slide backwards into the tank, hence leaving no stress or pain on the sheep," Kevin added.

The sheep remain in the dipping tub for one minute and exit through a gate at the front which Kevin can control; they progress to the draining area - this can hold up to twenty-five adult ewes (depending on the size of the sheep).

The sheep remain in the draining area until it reaches its full capacity and when this occurs, Kevin opens the exit gate at the front.

Following the completion of this, Kevin washed down the unit and emptied out the dip in a bid to prepare for the next farm.

Video: TF Media

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