Featured Project – 12-Stand Shearing Shed At Telopea Downs

A “game changer” for AJ & PA McBride, the recently completed 12 stand shearing shed at Telopea Downs is a masterpiece.

Action partnered with Greg Kendrick of Shearing Sheds & Rural construction to deliver the impressive project which is a testament to McBride’s commitment to the Australian wool industry and to becoming an “employer of choice” by providing up-to-date, safe and efficient facilities for their staff.

Read on to learn more about McBrides and the project in detail – or just let the photos do the talking!


About AJ & PA McBride

With a rich history spanning more than 100 years, AJ & PA McBride Pty Ltd is a sixth-generation family-owned business and one of the largest wool producers in the nation.

The business owns and operates a diverse property profile with five pastoral and four grazing properties in South Australia, along with “Eureka”, the mixed farming and grazing property at Telopea Downs that now boasts a remarkable 12-stand shearing shed facility.

You can learn more about the properties and operations, here.

12 Stand Shearing Shed Project Overview

Client: AJ & PA McBride ltd

Size: 48m (L) x 40m (W) x m (H) with a 12-stand curved raised board and room for around 2500 sheep on grating.

Location: Telopea Downs on the SA-VIC border.

Download a copy of the West Wimmera Farm Sheds brochure to learn about other projects in the area.

Shed Supplier: Action Steel – The Big Shed People

Fit Out & Install: Greg Kendrick of Kendrick Sheds – Shearing Sheds & Rural Construction

Yard Supplier: Australian Stock Yard Company

Plumbing & Electrical: Bordertown Pumps & Electrical, B & D Plumbing Solutions Bordertown

Build Date: 2024

What Will The Project Achieve?

Previously for AJ & PA McBride shearing has ranged from being a 15-week event to 23 weeks in a wet year – shearing 60,000 plus sheep and lambs across six sheds takes time!

Now, with the addition of the new 12 stand shearing shed at Telopea Downs, shearing could become an 8-week process – weather permitting – even with an increase in flock size of 85,000 – 100,000 sheep.

Around 2,000 bales of the expected 8,500 bales will come from Telopea Downs!

12-stand shearing shed at Telopea Downs

Increased productivity and efficiency aside, the new facility reinforces AJ & PA McBride’s reputation as an industry leader and aligns with their vision to be a strong, united and sustainable family company, and their mission:

“To utilise the Company’s capital to optimise returns to shareholders and staff from an economic, environmental, and socially sustainable basis, for the benefit of future generations.”

The new shearing shed also plays an important role in helping to secure reliable labour. Safe and up-to-date working conditions are a proven and sustainable way to attract and retain quality staff. This is increasingly important in the wool industry with a shortage of labour and shearing teams preferencing sheds with good working conditions.

Project Details

The scale of this shed is a standout, but it is the small details in the design and planning process that ensure the project is executed and delivered successfully.   

Here is a summary of some of the key details that contribute to the overall project success of the 12-stand shearing shed.

A Well-Prepared Site

The secret to a straightforward shed installation is to take the time to carefully prepare your shed pad.

The shed pad for this project is a textbook example.

An all-weather shed pad helped ensure that the install teams were not held up by wet weather – and it also means that now the shed is completed it will be able to be accessed year-round

The clear level site at Telopea Downs also has a well-planned layout for easy access and good drainage and stormwater system to keep rainwater run-off out of the yards.

Site Prep

In the video below, Ben, one of our project managers discusses our recommendations for preparing a good shed pad.

Using A Raised Board

One of the popular (and controversial) topics when it comes to new shearing shed builds is the board design; raised board or flat board? Opinions continue to differ on this topic – and that is not likely to change any time soon.

For McBrides, this project was a replica of the shed at their Konetta property, albeit slightly longer, so the fit out included a 12-stand curved raised board.

This shearing shed board configuration provides several benefits.

Firstly, a curved board shearing shed is the most popular design. This is because the shearers can see each other easily, and they are very convenient for the rouseabouts as there is less walking required. 

Raised board shearing shed

Secondly, a raised board shearing shed has a number of advantages, including:

  • Shed hands don’t encroach on the shearer’s space as the shearers have their own area above the wool room floor.
  • Shed hands can access and pick up the fleece easily, with no bending required. This helps reduce repetitive strain injuries and fatigue and is also more time efficient. 
  • Stained wool can easily be removed during shearing as the board can be used as a table when checking bellies. 
  • Sloped catching pens can be angled towards the board to make it easier for shearers to access sheep.
  • The board can easily be kept clean and clear during crutching.

Wool Room Size

Another advantage of a raised board shearing shed is that the wool room is on the ground level.

This can be used as a storage area when shearing is completed, whether it is for wool bales – this build has capacity to store around 300 bales – or general equipment storage.

Our building consultants usually recommend upsizing the wool room for this reason. It is a great way to create a multi-use shed and get the best value for your money.

Wool bales in wool room, 12-stand shearing shed at Telopea downs
wool room

Sheep On Grating Versus Covered Yards

Wet sheep at shearing can be incredibly frustrating, causing delays at a busy time of the year and can be an issue when shearing teams are booked out for weeks at a time.

The way to avoid this is to move sheep in undercover ahead of the rain event. This can be achieved by installing a cover over your sheep yards or including extra undercover grating area in the main shearing shed.

McBrides - Sheep on grating

 A sheep yard cover is typically the more cost-effective and versatile option for smaller scale shearing sheds.

However, with a dedicated shearing shed like the 12-stand shed for McBride’s, given the number of sheep moving through the shed at shearing, it makes sense to upsize the undercover grating area.

As a result, around 2,500 head can be penned undercover

There is also the option to cover the yards in the future to provide additional capacity – along with benefits such as being able to do yard work out of the weather.

Prioritising Welfare For Sheep & Staff

Prioritising the welfare of both livestock and staff is front and centre of the new McBride shearing shed.

For the shearing teams there are new amenities including bathrooms, a lunchroom and an enclosed grinding room.

sheep dog

The shearing teams also benefit from wooden flooring in the wool handling area. This helps reduce strain and stress on the body.

(A timber wool room floor still has a concrete slab underneath it, but it is usually only 100mm thick to make it 50mm lower than the rest of the shed. The joists and tongue and groove flooring will then bring it up 50mm so that it is level with the main shed slab.)

This shearing shed design also includes an end-to-end laneway through the shed so that the shearing team don’t have to walk through the sheep.

Increasing the slope of the catching pen has also made it easier for shearers to drag the sheep onto the board.

Addressing details like ventilation and lighting benefit both staff and sheep.

The McBride shearing shed design uses as combination of ridge vent and wall vents through the shed to achieve effective ventilation and airflow. This contributes to comfortable working conditions particularly during the summer months.

Sliding doors as well as providing good access, can be opened during shearing to provide additional airflow and also natural light in the shed to complement the hi-bay lights.

Sloped catching pen in 12-stand shearing shed at Telopea Downs
Natural Light in shearing shed

Finishing Touches In Colorbond

Colorbond cladding is the perfect finishing touch to an impressive project.

The cladding along with matching flashings, guttering and water storage tanks help to create a cohesive aesthetic that blends in with the surrounding environment.

Colorbond cladding has the additional benefit of providing an extra layer of corrosion protection. Along with the fully hot dip galvanised shed frame this helps contribute to the longevity of the shed – which will no doubt have an important role in contributing to and continuing the AJ & PA McBride legacy.


12 Stand Shearing Shed Price Guide

Project costs and budgeting are important for any farm shed project, regardless of the scale.

As a price guide for this project, a similar shed would cost approx. $450,000 – $550,000 including GST, footings and installation.

Please note this price guide is for the shed component only, it does not include additional project costs such as fit out and site preparation.

Check out – How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shearing Shed? – to learn more about the different factor influencing shearing shed prices.

Project Gallery

Here are some of our favourite photos of the 12-stand shearing shed at Telopea Downs, photographed here during 2024 Women’s Shear N Gear event which featured women’s shearing royalty like Catherine Mullooly.

Browse the gallery below to view the project in closer detail.

That’s a wrap on the new McBride 12 Stand Shearing Shed at Telopea Downs! We hope this has been inspiring!

For more information on new shearing shed builds, check out the resources below.

Additional Resources

For more articles and resources, browse the Learning Hub. Or to discuss your shed project call us on 1800 687 888.

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