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

  • Wool and sheepmeat production systems rely on the breeding ewe — how she is managed sets up the efficiency and profitability of both the ewe and weaner flock.

  • Genetic selection enables both wool and sheep producers to make positive and permanent genetic gains in their flock.

  • When the prevalence of sheep lice is high as it is in Western Australia at the present time, there is a greater probability that lice will be present in any flock.

  • 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

  • Barber's pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) is a potentially harmful roundworm parasite of sheep which can cause a disease called haemonchosis.

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

  • Researchers and supervisors from Western Australian universities are invited to apply for WA sheep industry scholarships.

  • 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.

  • Taenia ovis (otherwise known as Cysticercus ovis, ovis or sheep measles) is a tapeworm parasite which can cause significant economic loss due to the rejection or trimming of sheep

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

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