Managing breeding ewes in containment areas: A guide for producers

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Drought, or a low availability of pasture, may require either the sale of sheep or hand feeding for periods of time. Breeding ewes have the potential to produce lambs and future income, and may be very expensive to replace later if sold. In this situation, a decision needs to be made as to whether the resources (funds, labour, equipment, mental resilience) are available to feed ewes for an estimated length of time, or if it would be better to sell stock and buy back in when conditions improve. Some producers are now also using containment feeding as a regular strategy to maintain ewes over dry autumn periods when pastures or crop stubbles are not typically sufficient.
Successfully maintaining breeding ewes in containment depends on cost-effectively achieving high sheep welfare and optimal lamb marking rates. These guidelines have been prepared based on scientific evidence to assist in decisions specific to managing breeding ewes in containment and the potential effects of this on health and lamb marking rates.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMeat and Livestock Australia
Commissioning bodyMeat and Livestock Australia
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


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