Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Recent research in Western Australia has provided new information on the effects of liveweight and liveweight change on wool production and quality, as well as lamb survival and growth. Liveweight and liveweight change in sheep reflect the animals' nutritional status, and this in turn directly influences their wool production and reproductive performance. The under-nutrition of sheep not only has an immediate effect on the animal's performance, but the research showed that it also produces a significant carry-over effect on wool and lamb production, even if the ewes have returned to good feed. These findings suggest that for the efficient management of breeding ewes over the dry feed period, a representative sample of the flock (40 ewes or 10 per cent, whichever is the greater) should be weighed and condition scored regularly. Grazing management and/or supplements can then be adjusted to meet the production objectives for the ewe