Avoid baaaad choices: get help

New sheep producers urged to get plenty of expert advice

Sheep
Aa

Those thinking of giving sheep a crack are encouraged to do plenty of research so they can make the best decisions for their land and stock.

Aa
IF YOU'RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT: LLS senior land services officer Brett Littler encourages new sheep producers to get plenty of advice and talk to their neighbours.

IF YOU'RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT: LLS senior land services officer Brett Littler encourages new sheep producers to get plenty of advice and talk to their neighbours.

Brett Littler believes that good fences mean good neighbours.

And this is his advice when starting to run sheep for the first time.

Mr Littler, who is a senior land services officer for Central Tablelands Local Land Services (LLS), says people who are planning to run sheep for the first time are best to do plenty of research to make sure they are making the best choices for their land and their sheep.

Mr Littler said one of the first things to do is assess the kind of country you have.

"Have a look at your own property and make an assessment. And have a look at what others are breeding in your local area. That will give you a good idea of what is suitable for your property," he said.

When it comes to breed, he said it was important to get an independent assessment of which breeds would suit, and it was a good idea to speak to other sheep breeders and look at the pros and cons of each breed.

"The breed is going to be dictated by the set-up you've got," he said.

"You need to make sure you have the right infrastructure, like yards, good fences and sheds. Although you might run a shedding breed, not all of them might shed completely, so you will still need somewhere to shear.

"And good fences make good neighbours. They stop problems before they start. A good fence stops all the hassles.

"But it is important to get to know your neighbours and talk to them, especially if you are new to the area."

Mr Littler said a biosecurity plan was also a must.

"When you buy sheep, make sure you get a National Sheep Health Declaration. Make sure they are free from footrot and free from lice," he said.

"Give them a quarantine drench when they arrive on the property, and let them empty out. And keep them away from your other sheep."

He said it would also help to learn some fundamentals of grazing management, and may be worth speaking to an agronomist.

And Mr Littler said one of the most important things producers need to do is get a Property Identification Code (PIC) number before buying stock.

Don't be sheepish, LLS has advice

We're here to help.

That is the message from Central Tablelands Local Land Services senior land services officer Brett Littler.

Mr Littler says producers that are new to running sheep can get plenty of advice and support from local experts.

Mr Littler said new landholders in the Central Tablelands are sent a Rural Living Handbook, which gives advice on everything from setting up the property to emergencies to disease and weeds.

"And come in to the LLS to get advice. Have a chat to our advisors," he said.

"And you can have a chat to local LLS vets, and they can talk to you about issues in certain areas, such as drench programs for fluke and worms."

Mr Littler also said it was worth visiting the ParaBoss website, which would help give new sheep producers guidance as far as worms, lice and flystrike specific to their area.

He said the LLS also runs PROGRAZE courses to help learn about grazing management.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by