Sheep Management

Efficient sheep management, reproductive efficiency, animal welfare, parasite contol and effective use of genetic technologies are key problems facing the sheep producer. The following pages provide information on some of the products and services available to assist you in managing your flock effectively.

  • Precision Sheep Management - Precision Sheep Management (PSM) focuses on managing individual or selected groups of animals to take advantage of the large variation between animals within a flock. It requires accurate measurement, selection, management and marketing strategies. A structured approach to strategy planning is provided which includes software to optimise flock structures, culling, ram selection and joining. Implementation is delivered through the collection and use of information, with PSM software and hardware tools enabling efficient and effective individual animal management.
  • Electronic Identification (eID) - New, improved and robust electronic identification and recording technology now allows sheep producers to manage their sheep more precisely and practically.
  • Pedigree Matchmaker - The Pedigree MatchMaker is an electronic system which can determine with a considerable degree of accuracy which lamb belongs to which ewe. It uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags to measure data about the proximity of particular lambs to particular ewes as they pass through a gate to a water source.
  • Pregnancy scanning - Pregnancy scanning is a great management tool to improve profits for meat and wool enterprises, particularly those running higher stocking rates and when paddock feed is in short supply.
  • Feeding ewes for pregnancy - Setting the time of joining for lambing is an important on-farm management decision.

Practical Wisdom Notes / Fact Sheets

PW1.1 Enterprise Management Series

In this series:

  1. Optimising stocking rate - the key to increasing pasture utilisation and profit - November 2006

  2. Profitability of sheep enterprises in southern Australia - November 2006

  3. Lambing at the right time in southern Australia - the first step to increasing sheep profits - November 2006


PW1.2 Nutrition Series

In this series

  1. Options for light weight spring lambs - November 2006

  2. Sorghum grain for lot feeding of sheep - March 2007

  3. Feedlot calculator - March 2007

  4. Feeding grain and hay separately in lamb feedlots cheap and effective - April 2008

  5. The Cowra Bale Feeder for hay and roughage feeding - April 2008


PW1.3 Reproduction Series

In this series:

  1. Managing ewes for joining
  2. Managing ewes in late pregnancy
  3. Managing Merino weaners
  4. The value of pregnancy scanning
  5. Successful pregnancy scanning

PW1.4 Parasite control in sheep

In this series:

  1. WormBoss: Australia's sheep worm control resource
  2. FlyBoss: resources for integrated flystrike control in Australian sheep
  3. LiceBoss: Australia’s sheep lice control resource

PW1.5 Precision Sheep Management

In this series:

  1. Profiting from Individual Electronic Identification (eID)

  2. Pedigree Matchmaker - determining dam pedigree

  3. Individual Electronic Identification (eID)


Products & Training Resources

eID Case Studies

Reports, Articles and Presentations

ASKBILL for a crystal-clear look at the future

Managing sheep health can be complicated and it can often seem that a crystal ball would be a good tool to have at your disposal so you could predict the future - By Jill Griffiths.


News Releases

RamSelect drives demand at Ella Matta ram sale
The genetic selection app RamSelect was a key plank of the promotional platform for the Ella Matta White Suffolk and Merino stud which recorded its best-ever sale results late last year. The Kangaroo Island stud recorded its highest grossing sale, its highest ever top-priced ram at $16,000, and an improved overall average of $1459 / ram, despite increasing its sale offering by more than 10% to 200 White Suffolks, 40 Poll... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/ramselect-drives-demand-at-ella-matta-ram-sale-08-02-2018.php
MERINOSELECT now mainstream practice and growing fast
Use of the objective genetic assessment tool, Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs), has grown so rapidly in the Merino industry in the last five years that close to 50% of all Merino rams are now sold by studs that are members of MERINOSELECT. Recent analysis by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) reveals that studs in MERINOSELECT now provide around half of the Merino rams used by... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/merinoselect-now-mainstream-practice-and-growing-fast-02-02-2018.php
DNA Flock Profile test takes gut feel out of farming
DNA testing has taken the guesswork out of breeding for Victorian sheep mixed farmer Todd Martin, who now has a clear picture of how his flock compares to the rest of the industry and the decisions he needs to make to improve its performance. Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/dna-flock-profile-test-takes-gut-feel-out-of-farming-15-01-2018.php
DNA Flock Profile cements the foundations for new flock
Developing a flock with the right mix of genetics can take generations to perfect, but DNA testing has put Geelong sheep and wool producer Jack Briscoe on the fast track to success. Mr Briscoe is only a year into breeding his own Merino flock after branching out from his sheep contracting business by cobbling together a mixture of 800 home-bred and yard-bought ewes as his breeding base. Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/dna-flock-profile-cements-the-foundations-for-new-flock-28-11-2017.php
Faster sheep DNA testing with new Australian GeneSeek lab
Sheep breeders using DNA testing to improve their genetic selections can look forward to faster turnaround times for test results thanks to Neogen Corporation’s decision to establish a genomic testing laboratory within Australia. GeneSeek Australasia, a wholly owned subsidiary of United States-based parent company Neogen, has acquired the assets of the Animal Genetics Laboratory (AGL), based at the Gatton campus of the... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/faster-sheep-dna-testing-with-new-australian-geneseek-lab-04-09-2017.php
Dramatic increase in early season searches on RamSelect
Inquiry for rams through RamSelect has never been stronger with a dramatic increase in the number of buyers searching the site so far this season compared to last year. More than 1129 ram searches were conducted on RamSelect during July, compared to just 154 at the same time last year. Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/dramatic-increase-in-early-season-searches-on-ramselect-22-08-2017.php
DNA testing to drive new era of ewe competitions
The traditional ewe competition is set to enter the innovation era with the inclusion of DNA Flock Profile tests as part of next year’s Doug Bicket Memorial Ewe trial in Parkes, NSW. The Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) will provide DNA profiling for all flocks entering the 2018 competition, currently valued at $800 plus GST per flock, as a means of supporting improved genetic selection... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/dna-testing-to-drive-new-era-of-ewe-competitions-18-07-2017.php
The predictive power of ASKBILL immortalised in song
An off-the-cuff comment and a spur of the moment decision to “have a go” have resulted in the sheep industry’s new predictive app, ASKBILL, being brought to life in song by Uralla musician Rhonda Brooks. Performed in a bush ballad style by Coffs Harbour musician Mal Winckle, the track is proving a popular addition to the ASKBILL website, helping to capture producers’ imagination as to the possibilities on offer... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/the-predictive-power-of-askbill-immortalised-in-song-10-07-2017.php
RamSelect moves towards commercial business model
The popular RamSelect app will move to a commercial funding model ahead of this season’s ram sales, as a first step towards ensuring the genetic selection tool’s financial viability and availability to producers in the long-term. RamSelect Plus is an easy to use web-based application, www.ramselect.com.au, which allows ram buyers to find and rank rams based on Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) that match their own... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/ramselect-moves-towards-commercial-business-model-03-07-2017.php
Faster, more accurate DNA Parentage and Poll test to be released in July
Sheep breeders will have access to a faster, more accurate DNA test for parentage and poll/horn status from July, which also includes new features to detect a range of genetic defects. First launched in 2012 by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC), the DNA Parentage and Poll test has proven very popular with sheep breeders seeking to improve their genetic selections through more precise... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/faster-more-accurate-dna-parentage-and-poll-test-to-be-released-in-july-26-06-2017.php
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