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Publication Date

2-2009

Series Number

4762

Abstract

Sheep mortality during the first year of life is a large problem on many farms and poses a significant animal welfare issue for Australian agriculture. Post weaning mortality is estimated to cost the Australian sheep industry more than $89 million annually through reduced income, poor productivity and increased management expenses (Sackett et al. 2006).

A high mortality rate among weaners reduces the number of surplus animals available for sale and the number of potential breeding replacements. This, in turn, affects the selection intensity for desirable traits and the flock’s rate of genetic improvement.

Ill thrift and poor growth of weaner sheep during their first year can reduce wool and meat production as well as the weaner’s reproductive performance at first joining.

Number of Pages

13

ISSN

1833-7236

Keywords

Animal nutrition, Australian merino, Sheep, Sheep feeding, Sheep farming, Mortality, Western Australia

Disciplines

Agronomy and Crop Sciences | Animal Sciences

Management of Merino weaners for optimum production

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