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Warning Sheep Grazier Alert!

July and August are the months we see most warnings to sheep graziers. Conditions such as these with rain and strong winds are a high risk for lamb and sheep losses.                                                                                         

Stock most at risk are:

  • Freshly shorn sheep                                                                                                                                         

  • Young lambs                                                                                                                                           

  • Ewes in late stages of pregnancy                                                                                                                              

  • Sheep and lambs in light condition (under 2 ½ score).


Photo 1 & 2. Young lambs and freshy shorn sheep require adequate cover for survival in winter months

While we are inside in front of the fire we need to be thinking ahead, the RISK can be reduced.

The best protection against the elements is to maintain good health and have a body condition of 3 + during winter, but unfortunately most haven’t been that luck this season.


What we can do is:

Move sheep into the most sheltered paddocks – with tall grasses or into a paddock with a tree shelter belt or if possible, into a shed.

Make sure they have access to good quality food and that ewes in late pregnancy can graze to reduce the risk of pregnancy toxaemia. This could consist of a good quality hay, grain or pellets.

If shearing STOP!! If stopping is not an option, you can always run the sheep back into the shed for the night. (Always monitor the weather if you are about to shear).

When in doubt visit the Bureau of Meteorology site, these warning are constantly updated.

For any further information please don’t hesitate to contact myself or any of the other Western AG Animal health staff.

Article produced by - Katrina Ridgeway, Western AG Ballarat

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