July 23, 2010

NZ Sheep Husbandry - Lifting a sheep over a fence

By Dr Clive Dalton

Back industries
Many back injuries occur when handling sheep, especially when lifting a sheep over a fence.

This is often done to save time, rather than pushing the sheep to a gate when the pen is full. Or you may be in a paddock where there is no gate to drag the sheep to to put into the next paddock.

 Use these advice to minimise the risk of injury:

  • Never try to lift a heavy sheep over a fence on your own. Get someone to lift the hind legs while you lift it’s front end.
  • For a small sheep, lift it up backwards by holding it around the neck and by a front leg.

  • Then grab both front legs, lean back to raise the sheep's back legs off the ground, and at the same time, use your knee to give it a heave up and over the fence.
  • Your knee acts as a fulcrum to get some leverage and help reduce the weight of the lift.

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