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

  • Copper is an essential trace element for animals needed for body, bone and wool growth, pigmentation, healthy nerve fibres and white blood cell function.

  • The persistent nature of organochlorine (OC) residues in soils is an ongoing issue for livestock producers. Cattle are the most susceptible to the accumulation of OC residues.

  • The liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, is a serious parasite of ruminants, which can cause severe damage to the liver and consequently disease, production loss and even death.

  • 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.

  • Treatment of ewes and lambs is more complex than treatment of a mob of single animals because they exist as a unit of two or three animals in close contact rather than individuals within in a mob.

  • The sheep industry relies heavily on drench chemicals to control sheep worms but in Western Australia (WA) worms have become increasingly resistant to drenches.

  • Worm control and drench resistance management in livestock is most efficient and sustainable when there is an indication of the size of worm burdens and the effectiveness of drenches.

  • Artificial breeding is the use of technologies such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer. Artificial insemination (AI) involves placing semen directly into the uterus.

  • Newcastle disease is a severe viral disease of poultry and other birds.

  • Australian sweet lupins (Lupinus angustifolius L.) are currently utilised as a valuable protein source in pig diets.

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