Wed, May 8, 2024 5:00 AM

Transporting livestock with water-only access


Eloise Martyn

Malbrough Sounds farmers, with water-only access to their farms and stations, have been using Johnsons Barge Service Ltd to transport their livestock for the past 120 years.

Twenty-Two months ago, damaging floods caused significant damage to roads in the area, increasing the barges demand.

“Some farmers, who previously used the road are now finding that transporting a whole barge load of livestock to be more efficient,” Johnsons Barge operations manager Jonny Everett says.

The barge can transport up to 1000 lambs in one go. The quantity of livestock able to be transported on the barge varies depending on the breed and size of the animal.

“The sheep are good at traveling on the barge, they settle down quickly and since there is only one layer, they keep cool and calm,” Jonny says.

There are usually three people aboard the barge when livestock are being transported. There are many jobs and maintenance to be done during a trip, as well as the important task of walking through the livestock every 15 minutes to check all are standing up and faring well.

“A trip from D’Urville Island to Havelock takes between 4-6 hours depending on which site we are from, during this time we all work together to ensure the stock are traveling well,” Jonny adds.

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