Sheep

The key products of the Western Australian sheep industry are wool, sheepmeat (lamb and mutton) and live sheep. At around 14.2 million sheep, the WA flock turns off approximately 5.7 million sheep and lambs for meat and live export as well as 72 million kilograms of greasy wool (primarily for export markets) annually.

The Merino is the most common breed of sheep in WA, making up 80% of the state's flock. The remainder are ‘British breeds’ or so-called maternal breeds, meat specific breeds such as Dorpers and some breeds for specialty meat and fibre markets.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's current focus is on increasing lamb supply, improving the productivity, welfare and sustainability of sheep production and developing and extending targeted information products and services to generate practice change. In an effort to increase the marking rate of lambs, the department, in collaboration with industry, has developed the More Sheep initiative.

Articles

  • Selenium and vitamin E are essential in sheep diets, and work together to prevent and repair cell damage in the body.

  • Supplementary feeding of sheep, with grain, hay or silage is necessary when pastures or stubbles are deficient in energy and protein.

  • Joining is the time when the potential lambing of your flock is set, so make the most of it.

  • To better understand the impacts of poor and variable seasons on lambing and turnoff rates, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) conducts special short surveys on l

  • Despite potentially elevated grain prices, strong prices for meat and wool mean that Western Australian sheep farmers can confidently supplementary feed their underweight ewes this summer/autumn.

  • The 2018 season brought challenging times for sheep producers in Western Australia (WA) and there were wide reports of low lambing rates.

  • There are two forms of footrot in sheep and goats: virulent and benign. They are caused by infection with different strains of the bacterium, Dichelobacter nodosus.

  • A little knowledge of the nutritional value of your supplementary feeds can save you a lot of money and hassle. In dry seasons in particular, it is likely that farmers will need to start supplement

  • Codes of practice for animal welfare have provided useful guidance about the management and care of animals, mainly livestock.

  • Reproduction rates (foetuses per ewe joined) across the WA flock vary hugely and  depend on seasonal conditions and nutrition.  Marking rates in 2017 across the agricultural region for Merinos was

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