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

  • 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.

  • The poultry biosecurity checklist summarises the actions needed to protect your poultry and the Western Australian poultry industry from the devastating effects of emergency diseases such as avian

  • There are multiple causes of infertility, abortion and stillbirths in cows. These include some diseases that are exotic to Western Australia and some zoonotic diseases.

  • Mastitis is the term for a bacterial infection of the udder. It is most common in ewes raising multiple lambs or with high milk production.

  • ‘Calf scours’ is when young calves develop diarrhoea and become dehydrated. The scour can be white, yellow, grey or blood-stained, and is often foul-smelling.

  • Ovine campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease of breeding ewes causing abortion in late pregnancy. It is caused by the bacteria Campylobacter fetus ssp. fetus.

  • Itch mites are small, barely visible parasites of sheep; they live on the skin surface and cause rubbing and fleece chewing in a small proportion of infested animals.

  • The most common lice affecting sheep are body lice (Bovicola ovis).

  • The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development conducts a surveillance program for ewe abortion and newborn lamb deaths to assist sheep producers to identify the cause of abortions a

  • Pulpy kidney (enterotoxaemia) is a disease of sheep, goats and cattle.