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[Video] The “Rolls Royce” of matting for deer at Raincliff Station, South Canterbury

Raincliff Station, Canterbury

Located near Pleasant Point, South Canterbury, Raincliff Station is a 755-hectare deer farm that runs primarily a velvet operation with over 4000 head of deer.

Dave Morgan, the owner of Raincliff Station, explains that they had had concrete floors and bark chip in the past, but that he had always wanted quality matting, like the kind that Numat offer, saying “I thought this was the Rolls Royce. We want to try and operate in that top 5% of operating deer farmers”.

Dave acknowledges that cost is often the primary factor for farmers when it comes to making a decision on products, but that “you’ve got to weigh that up with the benefits” that come with investing in a high-quality, durable matting: “It’s a lot of money to spend on concrete and then put rubber on top, but the alternative is either pretty dusty, or concrete which is just hard work on the animal and on the human being.

“I always wanted this. I thought this was the Rolls Royce of matting.”

Knowing that handling is a big part of looking after your stock, Dave wanted to put in place a preventative measure that would take in account the welfare and comfort of the deer, stating “we were wanting to make sure we didn’t get any feet problems, like the foot burning on the concrete, or bruising on the foot.”

Given that Dave was looking for a product that would go down easily and stay down, without peeling up, Numat’s products were the ideal choice. Dave and his team decided on Numat’s Ken Mat for the workroom and Unimat matting for the sheds.

Dave feels that Unimat is perfect for the sheds as there is a lot of foot traffic with the deer, and so durability is key. The workroom/crush now has the thicker Ken mats, which Dave is really happy with, as it’s an area for both the workers and the deer and the extra comfort is welcomed.

New matting is just the start for Raincliff Station and its development. Speaking of the future, Dave says “we’re trying to fence off as many streams and brooks as possible and trying to do our bit with our environmental code of practice.” Dave is encouraging all fellow deer farmers to have an environmental code of practice by 2020, which will go a long way towards getting better support from government and regulatory bodies.

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