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All About Sheep Farming in Australia




Australia has a long history of sheep farming, with sheep produced in a wide range of climates across the country. From the arid and semi-arid parts of inland areas, like the southwest corner of Western Australia, to the high rainfall regions in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania, each area provides a unique lamb-producing region.


The amount of sheep farmed across Australia constantly fluctuates for a number of reasons, including variations in seasonal conditions and fluctuations in wool prices. For example, in 1970, Australia’s sheep flock reached a height of 180 million head. While today, numbers are estimated to be around 74.5 million head.


While there are many different types of sheep, the large majority of those farmed in Australia are those which produce wool, those that are grown for meat, and multi-purpose breeds produced for both wool and meat. The most common breed for these purposes is Merino and its crosses.


Sheep nutritional requirements


Sheep are classed as ruminants, which means that they have specialised stomachs and chew cud to digest their food. Livestock across the country generally get all the energy, protein, vitamins and minerals they need from pasture or through supplemental feeding if pasture yield is poor.


The nutrients they require are:


  • Energy - Sheep require energy to drive performance, and generally get it from pasture, hay, grains and soil seeds.

  • Protein - Protein is another major component of their diet, and helps to maintain weight and growth.

  • Minerals - The most important minerals that sheep require are phosphorus, sulphur and calcium, which they generally get from their water supply or mineral supplements.

  • Vitamins - The most important vitamins for sheep are A, D, E, and the B group. They generally get this from green plant matter, hay and grain, and vitamin D from sunlight.

  • Water - Water is one of their most important daily requirements. Sheep need between 2.5-18L per day, and if they’re receiving high salt supplements they’ll need more.


The nutritional amounts can vary greatly depending on the size and age of the sheep and whether the sheep is lactating or pregnant. If their nutritional requirements aren’t met, it can lead to a number of ailments and health issues, including:


  • weight loss

  • low fertility

  • increased risk of disease

  • poor wool growth


That is why it’s vital for sheep to get a balanced diet, where they get enough energy (through fat and carbohydrates), as well as protein, vitamins, minerals and water.


If the pasture isn’t providing enough nutrients, supplemental feeding is necessary for ensuring their needs are met. Having an efficient and effective feed out method is the best way to make sure sheep get access to the feed they need and large herds can be accommodated. While there are a number of different ways for feeding sheep, the easiest and most efficient method for many farms is a sheep feed out cart.


Benefits of sheep feed out carts


Feed out carts offer a simple and time-saving method for farmers looking to streamline their feeding processes. This is particularly useful for large farms with a big head of livestock to feed. The carts are designed to automatically feed out hay or silage, using mechanisms to evenly distribute hay.


Our feed out carts for example deliver feed from the side, making it even easier to deliver feed in open pastures, bunkers and troughs. It also enables you to move the location from which you feed your sheep.This feature preserves your pastures while evenly distributing hay.


One of our best-selling carts is the Pa-Mick, a highly versatile feeder designed to carry both round and square bales. It’s Australian-made design is perfect for sheep farmers all over the country and it can withstand harsh weather conditions. If you’re looking for a robust and efficient feeder, take a look at the Pa-Mick to find out more.


When investing in a product like this, it needs to meet all your requirements to ensure a return on investment. There is also the option to customise your farm equipment so that its functionality is practical in your setup, making things quicker and more cost effective. Here’s some information about the customisation services we offer for our carts:


Size: If you require a smaller or larger machine than the standard range we offer, our design team will work with you in designing the correct size machine to fit your operational requirements.


Load: If your load requirement is smaller or larger than the models we have, we may be able to build one to spec.


Multi-purpose: As our bale feeder can also cart bales, this dual purpose creates economic efficiency. Should you require any additional functionality, discuss this with our design team for them to incorporate your requests into the build of your machine.


To find out more about our customisation, or to enquire about our sheep feed out carts, get in touch with our team today by calling 03 5560 5713 or emailing sales@wmifeeders.com.au.

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