Livestock management

Management of livestock must take into account variable seasonal factors, fluctuating markets and declining terms of trade. The most successful producers have a good knowledge of market requirements, matching product quality to suit. There are many factors that can determine the productivity and profitability of a livestock enterprise. These include the supply and quality of feedstuffs, the use of the most appropriate genetics, ensuring high health standards, optimising housing or environmental conditions, meeting quality assurance requirements, and having a sound knowledge of market requirements. This requires good communication along the value chain.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has technical expertise in a range of areas related to livestock management but acknowledges that there are many other sources of information that producers should be encouraged to seek out. There are many grower groups who play an important role in encouraging discussion amongst producers to improve adoption of new technology, as do private consultants and university scientists.

Articles

  • Western Australian agriculture experiences variability in its winter growing season (May–October): late starts, early finishes and 'dry seasons' with rainfall low enough to cause serious crop stres

  • The Pastures from Space service generates maps to estimate pasture feed on offer (FOO) as kilograms of dry matter per hectare, and plant (pasture and crop) growth rates (PGR) as kilograms of dry ma

  • When sheep need to be supplementary fed, either in a confined space or in a paddock, there are different ways to ensure that they are receiving the correct quantities of feed and wastage is reduced

  • Grain overload is also known as acidosis or grain poisoning.

  • Applying nitrogen fertiliser to pasture in winter can increase dry matter production of grasses and broadleaf weeds and help reduce feed shortages in winter.

  • These tools and calculators are designed to help producers manage their ewe flock more effectively and make better management decisions about feed budgeting and grazing.

  • This pasture condition guide can be used from the web pages or by downloading the attached documents.

  • Effective grazing management in combination with efficient supplementary feeding will ensure the profitability and sustainability of the sheep enterprise.

  • In Australia it is illegal to feed animal matter to cattle, sheep, goats, deer, alpacas and other ruminant animals. These restrictions are a key part of Australia's ruminant feed ban.

  • Grazing annual pastures in autumn can potentially lead to a significant reduction in pasture seedling density, especially within the first 12 days after the break of season.

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