Drought feeding and management of sheep

State Government of Victoria - Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

A comprehensive document to help you plan and respond to drought.

This PDF is broken into the following:

  1. Preparing a Drought Action Plan
  2. Setting Targets
  3. Feeding sheep during a drought
  4. Managing sheep during a drought
  5. Feeding in stock containment areas
  6. Sheep health
  7. Value of unusual feedstuffs

This booklet is a practical guide on sheep feeding and management during a drought to help producers break down into manageable steps the daunting planning phase. Feeding guidelines in this booklet have been developed from both scientific research and farmer experience and are focused on maintenance feeding.

Key messages include:

  • Consider your options for keeping, selling and feeding stock early plus other management options such as early weaning, joining and shearing.
  • Do short and long term budgets for feed, water and finance.
  • Consider containing stock to protect soil and pastures.
  • Introduce grain slowly to reduce the occurrence of acidosis and either shandy rations or reintroduce sheep to new batches or grain sources.
  • Sheep on high cereal grain diets require Calcium (as limestone) and sometimes Sodium (as salt). • Monitor stock condition regularly and adjust rations accordingly
  • When purchasing feeds, compare feed costs on a cents/MJ basis to ensure value for money (see chapter 4 for more information).
  • Ration good quality roughage sources (e.g. good hay) for times when need to increase rations quickly, as in cold wet weather.
2015 - Australia - State Government of Victoria - Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
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