This course in animal husbandry and production examines production systems involving livestock grazed on pastures or rangelands. The main focus will be on beef cattle, dairy cattle (dry and milking), sheep and goats, but water buffalo will also be considered and species of local or emerging importance such as alpacas will be included from time to time as appropriate. Meat, milk, and fibre production will be considered.
Topics will include pasture and rangeland types, pasture agronomy, seasonal environments, the management of pastures and rangelands, fodder conservation, food conversion efficiency, routine management of the breeding herd/flock, reproductive rates, routine management of the production herd/flock, growth rates, animal identification techniques, data records and recording, industry stratification, industry organisations, livestock production economics, international competition, and product marketing systems.
During half-day field trips students will learn how to handle cattle and sheep (or goats) safely and humanely. During overnight field trips to two different types of mainland farms, students will analyse production systems taking note of routine management practices on those farms.