Gympie Times - 11th October 2012
Initial success encourages repeat Gympie field day for 2012
SUCCESS of a Field of Excellence Day held by Budget Steel and Cavalier Livestock equipment last year was all the encouragement needed to repeat the event in 2012.
Last year's event was mainly restricted to customers but this year's event attracted more than 100 farmers to the field day at Long Flat, near Gympie.
Cavalier spokesman Glenn Smith said the property was established to have a permanent working display for some of the Cavalier handling equipment.
"Potential buyers are able to see the equipment in full working condition," he said.
"Being able to see things working is a help to buyers and helps us show what our gear can do."
Cavalier Industries was established in Gympie about 22 years ago and gradually moved into manufacturing of animal handling equipment.
Mr Smith said deregulation of the dairy industry was a big blow to the company and it realised changes would have to be made.
"We decided to concentrate on niche markets for animal handling equipment," he said.
"We had progressed about as far as we thought we could with the regional market and moved into markets further afield and overseas."
He said they attended about seven field days each year and were selling well in to large-scale cattle areas and across the Pacific region.
"As labour becomes harder to get for cattle work, graziers are having to look at doing without as much staff as previously," Mr Smith said.
He said Cavalier had produced a set of cattle handling yards in which all the work could be done by one person.
"The grazing workforce is getting older and cattle can be dangerous to work with," Mr Smith said.
"Our system means that no one has to get on the other side of the fence, in the yard with animals."
He said all gates, crushes and bails in the handling system were pneumatically powered.
"The whole system operates virtually noiselessly, with cattle being moved in the direction required," Mr Smith said.
"All controls of the 90psi system can be operated from a remote control handpiece or from a swing out central console."
Mr Smith said the vision was to maintain a healthy and progressive company using its skilled Gympie-based workforce. Other participating local businesses were Motorcycle Country, Ag-solutions, Miva Tanks, Poly Industries, Gympie Regional Realty and Nolan Meats. Graeme Elphinstone of the Department of Primary Industries led two pasture assessment walks.
Queensland Country Life - 21st June 2012
New yards to beef up business at Gympie
THE shift from dairying to beef has called for a significant remodeling within the Roddau’s cattle yard system.
Fourth generation farmer at Kia Ora, north of Gympie, Clint Roddau, began converting the 80 Hectare (200 acre) property in March this year.
“The whole family just think there is not much future in it (dairying) in the next three or four years, so we thought we’d get out while people are still wanting cows,” Mr Roddau said.
The change brought about the need to upgrade the existing wooden cattle yards on the property and develop a system which would be able to handle the continual turnover of stock for decades to come.
Mr Roddau turned to Cavalier Livestock Equipment, Gympie to handle the design and modifications due to their strong understanding and knowledge of cattle handling.
His strategy was simple, to recreate the existing set of yards into an efficient, safe and easy to use operation with the help of CAV-AIR pneumatic equipment.
As a family run property with limited resources, the option of pneumatics meant that minimal handlers were required to draft, treat and monitor cattle, ultimately saving them money.
The system included the CAV-AIR Super Squeeze Crush and the Pneumatic Drafting Module and Slide Gate which are all operated via remote control allowing Mr Roddau to singlehandedly run cattle through the race.
“The major benefits of having equipment operated via remote control are the safety and efficiency gained from being able to work at a distance, while operating several sections at once,”Mr Roddau said.
It’s safer and I can do it myself.”
He finds that cattle settle better in the race without him having to be up close manually operating slide gates.
Mr Roddau runs the property with his wife Julie and father Roy.
The birth of the next generation on the property, seven-month-old Wyatt, prompted Mr Roddau to give the new yards a heightened degree of safety.
Working with Cavalier, he incorporated a smaller fenced off area beside the race where mum can help out with working on the cattle while also looking after bub.
The yard was designed around the original setup with sections of the existing timber yards and concrete base remaining.
“The choice to convert to Pneumatics was simple, we bought a quality system which will last us for years, easily paying for itself with the money saved in hired staff,” Mr Roddau said.
With the help of Cavalier’s free yard design service, the Roddau’s were able to keep costs to a minimum while not sacrificing on a quality and efficient setup.
“The setup is brilliant, it is so easy to use. My wife can handle the race via the remote control while I work the yard,” Mr Roddau said.
Roughly 60 steel portable Cattle Rail panels were incorporated in the new design, enabling them the freedom to open and close off areas where access is required as well as the ability to adjust the yard design if needed.
The completed yards are an important piece to the integrated working of the property which makes the most of the land available.
Mr Roddau works in with local agent Dan Sullivan, Sullivan’s Livestock, to orchestrate the flow of cattle on and off the property.
“Drafting cattle is made much easier with the use of a well-constructed set of cattle yards. The Roddau’s layout is simple and easy to use and the pneumatics get the job done quickly and painlessly,” Mr Sullivan said.
With the help of the local experts at Sullivan’s, Mr Roddau plans to have his property stocked with 250-300 head at any one time with a goal of putting through between 1000-1500 per year.
The new business venture is set to take off. Employing the right people with the right knowledge has given him the edge, allowing him to focus on what he is good at.
Mr Roddau said that is a shame that the dairying industry had gone the way it had but we are giving ourselves the best shot at the cattle industry.
By ASHLEY WALMSLEY
Queensland Country Life - 23rd June 2011
Hi-tech yards gives a quiet solution
KEEP it simple: It’s Mal’s maxim – for investment, farming and stock handling. Mal Allsopp, a Brisbane investor with a background in property and helicopters, branched into cattle 18 months ago. He has 200 hectares of prime cattle country at Woolvi near Gympie, where he started a cattle backgrounding and fattening operation to serve the local market.
Aiming at a capacity of 300 head and a throughput of 300 a month, Mal and his company, Barooga Projects (Rural) Pty Ltd, have developed the layout of the property with expert advice from local suppliers such as Glenn Smith of Budget Steel.
“It is very fertile country – very high yielding with flats and low hills,” he said. “About half is under automated irrigation. It is an investment in technology and in reducing labour costs. When we bought the place, there were no yards to speak of.
“We wanted a system to provide for the quiet handling of cattle. A lot of the steel had come from Glenn, and I became aware of the Cavalier Livestock Equipment arm of his business.
“Cavalier had produced a pneumatic system to control the gates and the crush and when I saw it, I was very impressed.
“You can work the gates and the crush from anywhere in the yards.
“It provides maximum flexibility with minimum manpower.”
A key decision in the design of the yards was to tailor the finished product to suit its intended use.
“Because we have no need to separate cows from calves and because we use weight to separate our stock, there was no need to provide a pound within the design,” Mal said.
“There was a lot of debate about that part of the project. The yards are allsteel construction with concreted races.
“We use the Ruddweigh system. The cattle come over the scales where the vet treatments are done and where we pick up their history through their tags.
“We get their weight and all the details about their daily weight gain since they were purchased and since their last yarding.
“Instead of a pound, we use an elongated race with a series of gates along its length. We have six ways of movement and we draft from the race into six different pens. It was a different design, but it suits our operation. The theory has been proven to work.”
Mal said it was important to design the system for year-round operation.
“We buy our stock anywhere from Gympie to Rockhampton. We buy cross-breeds at about 220kg, with no more than 50 percent Bos Indicus.
“We keep our stock for five to six months and we want to be able to fatten 365 days of the year. We use rye grass with supplements in the winter, and in the summer, it is setaria, Rhodes grass and kikuyu with supplements.”
Cattle are turned off about 450kg.
“Stock handling is an integral part of the business,” Mal said.
“The property now has a good system of laneways and with these yards, the arrangement works well.
Sometimes the weaners can be a bit excited when we first pick receive them, but when they leave, they are quiet.
“We have just about everything right. The biggest problem is the buying.”
Mal said the recent ABC Four Corners allegations about cattle cruelty in Indonesia were totally unacceptable, but the resulting 100pc ban on live exports was a major concern. He will have to wait and see the impact on supplies into the domestic slaughter market.
Queensland Country Life - 5th May 2011
Bovine bruises get the boot
Eliminating cattle bruising was the focus for Cavalier Livestock Equipment when designing and manufacturing their latest range of elite cattle handling gear.
According to Meat and Livestock Australia, Bovine bruises continue to cost our Cattle industry a staggering $25 million per year. Fuelled by this sum, Research and Development Coordinator, Tim Kross was determined to enhance animal safety, further improving Cavalier’s superior quality equipment.
“The Brisbane Abattoirs recorded that drafting and weighing followed by unloading, had the highest potential to injure a beast,” said Tim Kross.
“This places a great responsibility on manufactures of Cattle Handling Equipment and thus we spent the last year actively researching ways to reduce bovine bruises through our products.
“Working closely with our customers, we have stream lined all our yard components to ensure there is nothing which can potentially harm a beast."
“We have also improved our curved race panels, modelled from the original design by Dr Temple Grandin, which reduce cattle bruising incidents through minimising baulking and stress on the animal.”
“Extra features have been added to our Stabilizer Crush which guarantees complete immobilisation of varying cattle sizes for utmost safety to both the operator and the animal,” said Mr Kross.
In Cavalier’s 22 years in the cattle industry, they have stood up to their reputation, producing the highest quality yard components. Their range of Premier, Cattle and Bull Rail yard components provide the discerning farmer with choice while still ensuring the highest animal safety.
Manufactured in Gympie, Queensland, their products are strong, stable, have a great finish and overall presentation. They only use premier quality steel, backed by a strict quality control program.
The beginning of May will see the introduction of their much awaited new catalogues featuring their enhanced line of cattle handling equipment.
QUEENSLAND COUNTRY LIFE - 8th April 2008
Smooth steel makes Katherine rodeo safer
WHEN the chute gate clangs open and a tonne of angry bull, or a writhing bronco, explodes under an adrenalin-pumped rough rider, the last thing he needs is a spill against an untidy tangle of wire cables and wooden batons.
That’s the way things were at the Katherine rodeo grounds close to the centre of this rawboned yet beguiling Northern Territory town. Not any more, though. From now on, competitors and spectators at Katherine rodeos, campdrafts and similar action events have the assurance and protection of safe and strong steel yards and fittings manufactured by Gympiebased steel construction business Cavalier Engineering.
This livestock handing equipment company is the manufacturing side of Countrywide Metals Pty Ltd, owned by Glenn Smith and Angie Condon Smith. The sales side of the company is named Budget. The previous rodeo yards at Katherine were erected in an earlier era, with steel cables strung on to posts and wooden batons laced between the cables.
After receiving a grant of $130,000 from the Northern Territory Department of Sport and Recreation, the local council looked around for the best possible materials to make a completely new setup to assure minimum injury to animals and competitors and complete safety for spectators crowding close to the rails for a better look at the twisting, snorting and dust-blasting action. In charge of the construction was Katherine Town Council works engineer Warwick (Pancho) Jack.
Two large semi-trailers hauled the load of steel from Gympie to Katherine, where the material was stored on Paul Herrod’s Ponderosa Brahman Stud until building started.
Cavalier salesman John Hussey said steel rails for the bucking chutes and main holding crushes were 97mm x 42.2mm in 2mm gauge steel, while lighter rails for yards out the back facing less stocking pressure were 95mm x 30.2mm, also in 2mm gauge steel. The rails were made in smooth, roundededge form to avoid any sharp edges.
Mr Hussey said these rails were attached to specially formed round steel posts 100mm in diameter, with steel lugs welded into them, so that rails could be fitted with no sharp protrusions that could tear animal or human flesh.
Every fourth post was concreted into the ground to discourage any character who might want to dig up and take home some handy steel.
Mr Hussey said the new setup included a three-door module of bucking chutes and two curved races for smooth stock movement.
Mr Jack said the new arena was 102 metres in diameter and the steel fence panels in the main high-pressure area were 1.8 metres high, offering safe protection from even the highestjumping animal.
In the outer yards, where there is less animal pressure, fence height was reduced to 1.5 metres to the top rail.
Mr Jack said Katherine was a highly popular venue for bull riding, bronco riding and campdrafts, attracting riders and spectator fans from all over Australia.
“They come here in all manner of transport, including big rigs that have travelled for days to enjoy the action,” he said. “There are bull-riding events about four times a year, and also a lot of rodeo action at the annual Katherine Show in the middle of July.
Mr Jack said facilities for these events included stables for horses, although many competitors took their animals straight from trucks to the rodeo grounds.
Other facilities such as catering buildings, toilets and camping grounds are further from the rodeo yards, on the Victoria Highway, about 2km from Katherine Post Office.
Mr Jack said the main yards construction was handled by one man, but up to four men had worked on the total project, including pulling down the old fences and levelling ground.
QUEENSLAND COUNTRY LIFE - 15 March 2007
Highly efficient handling at Penyrhoel
HIGHLY efficient and humane stock handling will be assured with a new set of steel cattle yards now being completed on Ken Hayward’s Penyrhoel property about 20km north west of Gympie.
The facility is being built by master yards craftsman Richard Strauch who works his trade mainly around the Gympie and Kilkivan region. Penyrhoel is one of two cattle properties and a large macadamia plantation in Gympie district managed by Drew Curtis for Brisbane owner Ken Hayward.
Mr Curtis said an old set of timber yards on the property had been demolished to make way for an ultra modern setup featuring all the latest structural and design innovations.
Mr Strauch said the new yards were based on 100mm by 100mm steel posts set in concrete, between which were 115mm x 42mm oval cattle rails of 2mm thick steel. Budget steel supplied all steel for the yards.
The layout has a 20 metre curved race leading into a 6m Gympie Welding Works’ galvanised spray race with double draining pen. Curved race design is now a standard feature in modern cattle yards and goes back to vital animal behaviour research by Dr Temple Grandin of the US and others who discovered that an animal will continue to run through a race if it cannot see a block at the end.
The curved race gives the animal the impression that an escape route may be just out of sight. Many modern designs for animal handling also include rubber or steel masking on the walls of the curved race so that animals are not distracted by people, dogs or other movements seen through the rails of an unmasked race.
At the time of this interview a cattle crush had not yet been installed but the design allows for a cattle race and calf race to be run conjointly. Both these races will be under a 14m x 10m roof with about three quarters of the roofed area concreted. Steel gates are all chain latched and an 8.5m drafting pound can draft cattle five ways using the race as one of the outlets.
Adjoining the steel railed yards are three cooler yards with steel posts concreted in, topped with a steel cap rail and fenced with galvanised steel cable run through eyelet pipes welded into the steel posts making a completely sealed hole that won’t let water into the hollow posts. These steel pipe eyelets have 18mm inside diameter and 22mm outside diameter.
Cavalier Engineering is supplying various steel products including troughs and feeders. Mr Strauch said a set of yards such as this would cost in excess of $100,000 and they would be completed in about two weeks, given suitable fine weather. The setup is expected to easily handle 300 to 400 adult cattle.
He said Drew Curtis gave him a basic plan for what he wanted in the new yards and this was fine tuned with exact design features by Mr Strauch, who has been a professional yard and fence builder for 10 years. When completed the yards will have used 16 packs of steel cattle rails and more than a kilometre of galvanised steel cable.
In addition to managing 55,000 macadamia trees at Wilsons Pocket on the eastern side of Gympie for Ken Hayward, Drew Curtis manages 240 hectares of grazing country as well as extra grazing on Penyrhoel.
Since the Hayward purchase of that property, a major improvement program has included establishing improved pastures of Callide Rhodes grass, Gatton panic, blended setaria and the tropical legumes burgundy bean, glycine and Siratro. Further development with irrigation is designed to grow ryegrass pastures in winter to maintain an even level of nutrition year round.
Mr Curtis said the enterprise now was running 600 Grey Brahman breeders as a commercial herd to produce weaners that are sold straight off their mothers at around 250kg, principally to backgrounders who feed them on for feedlots.
Future plans included increasing the breeder cow herd to around 1000 cows. He said these Grey Brahman breeders were mated to Charolais and Blonde d’Aquitaine bulls with all the progeny sold as a terminal cross. Last year the business sold weaners for around $2.10/kg live, returning about $500/head. Prices had slipped earlier this year to return from $1.85 to $1.90/kg.
By MALCOLM McCOSKER
Highly efficient handling at Penyrhoel (2971 KB)
Smooth steel makes Katherine rodeo safer (1442 KB)
Bovine bruises get the boot (632 KB)
Hi-tech yards give a quiet solution (1003 KB)
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