Up to 1200 sheep an hour can be dipped with minimal labour using this dip sprayer, developed by a Eastern Cape South African farmer and his son.
Fifteen minutes is all that is needed to treat 300 sheep for any external parasites using this innovative device that sprays dip onto the sheep at the exit of a crush. Bossie Viljoen of Molteno and his son Stephan saw the sprayer in 2007 at the farm of a friend, Mr Gert Oosthuizen, in Aliwal North.
Bossie says that although the sprayer was functional, some adjustments needed to be made to the angle at which the sheep turn before they move through the spray race, as well as the orientation of the spray nozzles. The container for the dip was also modified. The apparatus, called The Eezy Dip, is suitable for the treatment of any external parasites, whether you’re using pour-on mixtures or those mixed with water and then sprayed onto the animals.
It works on the principle of air at a high pressure forcing the dip out of the container and through three spray nozzles (two lower and one on top) onto the animal. The apparatus is placed at the exit of a conventional crush.
The animals move through a 90o corner before the dip is sprayed on them. The reason for this sharp turn is to ensure that they don’t jump, as would happen if the spray device was placed in the crush.
This apparatus means it is no longer necessary to stop the animals and spray their groin area. Because ewes and lambs are treated together, the lambs quickly become accustomed to moving through the crush.
The equipment is designed to keep the handling of the livestock to a minimum and to keep their stress levels low. Because the animals move in a continuous flow through the crush, it only takes about 15 minutes to dip 300. If the farmer’s crush works well and he has enough labourers to quickly chase in the animals, then up to 1200 an hour can be treated in this fashion.
The sprayer is also calibrated. The amount of spray, which varies from 6ml to 20ml per animal, can be regulated by means of an in-line pressure control valve. If an animal becomes trapped in the crush, the spray action can be immediately suspended by means of a cord attached to the dip container.
The device is lightweight enough for one worker to load it on and off a pick-up truck. The equipment is safe for pregnant animals and sheep with any length fleece.