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Establishing a Containment Area (Part 3 of 5)

Author San Jolly
Branding Ag Excellence
Video Transcript

Managing Safe Containment Areas Effectively

Yeah, there’s a couple of really key points that I think needs to be remembered when you’re looking at how to manage sheep in containment areas really effectively. One of them is looking at shade and shelter, and it’s really important to provide shade and shelter in containment areas not only for the animals’ comfort but also for minimizing your feeding costs.

Shade and Shelter

Shade can be provided through a number of ways. You can see in this area that they use trees for the shade in this containment area. Whenever you’re looking at providing shades for trees you need to ensure that they’re fenced off. You can also use artificial shade structures. They even have shade cloths. Some people even use galvanized iron and they work quite effectively.

Shelter is also important to provide, as well, and that just helps cut down wind through the containment area, and you can do that through, obviously, hedgerows and even big square bars outside of the pens can help as well. The other thing to remember when you’re looking at managing sheep containment areas is nutrition.

Ration Levels are Important

You need to ensure that whatever ration you’re putting together has been tested. The individual ingredients within it have been tested so you know the energy and protein levels, and then you can formulate the ration correctly to meet the requirements of the animals in containment, because those requirements will vary largely depending on the stage of pregnancy that the animal might be and also they’re going to vary depending on the live weight of the animal.

Access to feed and water is really important as well and that’s going to vary depending on how you are feeding those animals whether you’re using self-feeders or troughs or even if you’re trailing out on the ground. So, access to feed will depend on those and it’s important to make those considerations once you’ve determined how you’re going to feed the animal.

Access to water is really critical and that’ll be determined by the size or the capacity to the troughs that you have, but also the water pressure is really important as well. Some of the other things that it’s important to consider when you’re looking at how you manage sheep incontainment is the stocking density.

Area Consideration for Animals

You need to make sure that you’re providing enough area per animal within the containment area. So, for ewes you’re looking at an absolute minimum of 5 square meters per head when they’re dry and that requirement needs to increase especially if you’re having ewes that are going to be lambing in containment, if that’s necessary.

So, in that situation, you need at least 20-25 meters squared for those ewes. One last thing that you need to be considering when how to manage sheep in containment areas is vaccinations. It’s important for ewes that come into containment areas especially if they’ve come off quite different feed, to have a vaccination before they come into the containment area, usually a three and one will suffice.

And there are a couple of the key things to remember when you’re looking at how to sheep in containment areas.

Part 4

Hamish Dixon, from Productive Nutrition, discusses managing sheep in containment areas.

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