Cattle Husbandry field day summary

Greg Meaker demonstrating calf marking and basic husbandry

The Cattle Husbandry for Small Farms Field Day was held at DMB Galloways in Sutton on the 29 April 2017. Here is a summary of the key points discussed:

The day was led by Greg Meaker a former educator in beef cattle husbandry and management at Tocal Collage and District Livestock Officer with the NSW Government Industry and Investment, Goulburn. Greg is also owner manager of two working properties in the Gunning district.

  • Before purchasing livestock it is important to decide on what type of operation you want (breeding or growing out), or if you want to purchase livestock to keep your pastures in check. If you are looking at trading livestock there is a wealth of information available on NSW Department of Primary Industries website. http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock  Meat and Livestock Australia https://www.mla.com.au/prices-markets/
  • The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is an important regulatory requirement that all livestock owners need to be aware of. The NLIS system enables livestock to be traced and managed during livestock emergencies such as disease outbreaks. You can view a PDF of the requirements here NEW NLIS Information Booklet
  • Yard weaning- weaners and new stock should be ‘yard weaned’ to teach the young cattle about the yards and being handled. During this time routine worming and husbandry can be performed. Yard weaning makes the cattle more manageable and can improves lifetime weight gains (by 20-30 kilograms) because handling stress is reduced.

See the Yard Weaning and Education article.

  • Low stress cattle management -there are number of guiding principles that can be used to improve cattle performance and ease of handling. Find out more about the theory and practice of low stress cattle management on the  Future Beef website.
  • Calendar of Operations – The South East Local Land Services has published a Beef Calendar of Operations – NSW Coast

When available a Southern Tablelands Calendar of Operations for Cattle will be published on our website.

  • If you are looking at a breeding operation the management of bulls is essential to the productivity of your  herd.  When purchasing or leasing bulls vibriosis testing is an important step to stop the disease from becoming established in your herd.

See the NSW DPI Vibriosis fact sheet.

  • Sudden changes in diet and a poor vaccination regime can cause a disease called pulpy kidney. This disease is caused by Clostridium perfringens type D. This bacteria normally inhabits the intestine of cattle but can become present in large numbers when there are sudden changes to the animals’ diet. For more information and management options see the NSW DPI Enterotoxaemia in cattle fact sheet.
  • Yards based on a tear drop/circular design suit the handling and flow of cattle in the yards. The NSW DPI website has a series of designs suitable for cattle herds under 100 head. See NSW DPI Yards and Equipment for Cattle.
  • NSW DPI Feed cost calculator – this website allows you to compare the cost, protein content and energy of different types of supplementary feeds.

Other fact sheets and contacts that may be useful for cattle owners:

Grass Tetany in Cattle

Agistment Guidelines for Cattle

South East Local Land Services Veterinary Contacts

Thank you to our hosts Dianne and Mark from DMB Galloways for providing a great venue and helping with planning the workshop.

This field day was made possible by funding from the Australian Government. In-kind and volunteer support from South East Local Land Services, the Palerang Local Action Network for Sustainability and the ACT Regional Landcare Facilitator. We thank them all for their ongoing contribution to this project.

Small Farm Walk ‘n Talk

A group of new and prospective small farm owners gathered in November 2015 for the first field day for the Small Farms Network – Capital Region. The Small Farm Walk ‘n Talk was a friendly and information rich day held in Rossi on a small farm that has a mix of grazing land and native bush. Continue reading “Small Farm Walk ‘n Talk”

Fodder on farms – so much more than grass

Dr Dean Revell from Revell Science in Western Australia was the keynote speaker at the Fodder Trees and Shrubs for Grazing Systems field day hosted by the Small Farms Network – Capital Region in Bywong on 17 April. Over 35 farmers attended to learn about how native fodder trees and shrubs can be incorporated into livestock systems. Continue reading “Fodder on farms – so much more than grass”