Sheep innovations

PHOTOS BY CURT NETTINGA/PLAINSMAN This tub and alley was specifically designed to assist sheep producers to work their flocks by Glen Specialty Equipment, a joint venture between Wolsey producer Glenn Jungemann and Spink Colony Farms. Shown in the second photo are portable panels that can be used with the tub/alley or on their own.

WOLSEY — Since he was in high school in Wolsey, Glenn Jungemann has been involved in the sheep business. Now, the entrepreneur has devised and improved different types of equipment to make handling his large flock much easier.
“I had an idea for a fence-line feed bunk made specifically for sheep,” the 57-year old Jungemann says one chilly November morning on a farm stead near where he grew up north of Wolsey. “So much of the equipment we had for sheep was just pieced together stuff from other livestock, mostly cattle.”
Jungemann shared his idea with the craftsmen at Spink Colony and the idea for the feed bunk came into being. The all-steel construction is hardy enough to stand up to the rigors of day-to-day use, while still being easily movable for a person with a skid-steer loader.
The real innovation is that while the bunks are made to work in a fence line, if a producers wishes to do so, he can set it elsewhere in a lot or pasture, and sheep can feed from both sides. They can be hooked together to make them more stable and, as Jungemann points out, they are “colony constructed,” and the workmanship is evident.
The same holds true with the innovative tub-and-alleyway system that the partnership Jungemann formed with the colony - Glen Specialty Equipment or GSE, is now marketing.
“Our design makes it much easier for the producer and on the animals,” Jungemann said. The tub system utilizes the same principle that Dr. Temple Grandin innovated for the movement of cattle - the sheep move naturally in circular motion into the alleyway.
“Most of the time, they just start feeding in naturally and just keep going,” Jungemann said. GSE has also devised a selection of easy-to-use and easier to move panels that can be used as a corral that attaches to the tub/alleyway.
In the alleyway, there are cross pieces placed a few inches off the ground. Jungemann explained that the sheep will step over the metal bar, but won’t back up when they feel the resistance against their back legs, which helps eliminate crowding.
At the end of the alley, there is a sorting attachment. After work is done on the animal - just prior it had been ultra-sounding Jungemann’s flock to get a better idea of when to expect this year’s lame crop to begin dropping - one person, standing in place, can quickly and easily choose to release the sheep out the front, to the left or two the right with one easy motion.
The sorting attachment comes with a closure that clamshells behind the sheep, as opposed to having a guillotine type gate that comes down, or one that slides in from the side. Both would take up significantly more space than the clamshell design and have a greater opportunity to injure the animal.
The entire tub/alleyway system can be mounted on a set of wheels in about 10 minutes, Jungemann said. “And then you can just head down the road to wherever the producer needs it next.
“As I get older, I just thought that there was something that would be better and easier,” Jungemann said. “The guys at Spink Colony do a wonderful job of both offering some different ideas and then building the whole thing.”
The tub/alleyway was popular at many of the sheep producer and farm shows this summer and fall.
Check them out at sheepequipment.net, or call Jungemann at 350-4724 or Mike Roman at 295-0317. Email them at [email protected]

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