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

  • In 2004, the Australian wool industry agreed to phase out the practice of mulesing.

  • 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).

  • Sheep farmers can save money and time eradicating new lice infestations by taking simple biosecurity measures that become part of normal management programs.

  • Gastro-intestinal worm infections in sheep are a major cause of lost productivity to the Western Australian (WA) sheep industry and control has become more complex due to widespread drench resistan