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

  • Weaners are the most difficult class of sheep to manage effectively, largely because they usually cannot consume enough energy while grazing dry pastures and crop stubbles.

  • Monitoring the health and liveweight of weaners is important to ensure their survival and for producers to maximise profit.

  • Choosing the best time of lambing and matching paddock feed availability to ewe and weaner needs is important for both productivity and profitability.

  • The demand for high value agricultural produce continues to increase and provides great opportunities to Australian agriculture.

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

  • The local lamb production system is seasonal and reflects the cost of finishing the lambs, with a large supply of lambs finished on green feed during spring.

  • To make sure that any chemical application doesn’t leave you short on protection or break your withholding periods, the Flystrike Chemical Planner (a hand-held paper-based tool) and the Flystrike A

  • A summer drenching program for sheep worm control is now recognised as a key cause of drench resistance in Western Australia.

  • The Lambing Planner is a simple tool that allows you to change a lambing date or a joining date to see the impacts of that on other key times in the reproductive year.

  • This tool can be used to work out the lowest cost of a number of different sheep feeds.

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