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Time to get the farm ready for Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and a bit of pre-Christmas planning could take a number of stresses away for landholders this festive season.

“With less than four weeks to go until Christmas, it’s not just trimming the tree and ordering the ham that farmers need to take into account,” said Western Local Land Services District Veterinarian, Charlotte Cavanagh.

Meatworks and saleyards will shortly be closing for their annual Christmas shut down period.

Without the option of selling stock during the closure, livestock producers need to check they have sufficient feed on hand, whether that’s grass in the paddock, grain in the silo or hay in the shed.

“Think about your livestock numbers, and how much feed you have available to maintain animals in a healthy condition until markets reopen in the New Year,” advised Dr Cavanagh.

“Now might be a good time to bring stock into the yards, condition score them and draft off any animals suitable for sale either via the saleyards or direct to a processor before the abattoirs close for the holidays.”  

Landholders are also reminded that they have the opportunity to have their livestock feed, and water, tested at no cost by Local Land Services. To arrange a test contact your local District Veterinarian.

Water supplies are also an important issue to consider as the summer weather warms up.

Make sure bores and troughs are working well and if dams are likely to dry up, start planning now on moving stock to paddocks where there is a safer water source.

It’s important to remember that livestock will increase water consumption significantly in warm weather. Making sure stock also have access to shade and shelter from the heat is also essential to meet basic animal welfare standards.

“It’s been a stressful year for most landholders due to the dry conditions we’ve experienced in 2019,” said Dr Cavanagh.

“If you know you’ve taken care of your land and their livestock, hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy Christmas without any extra worries and get to enjoy some much deserved rest and family time.”

Media contact: Charlie Whiteley, Western Local Land Services, 0428 679 974.