The Sheep & Beef Season
During Winter it's important to maintain ewe body condition with some supplementary feeding. In some areas there is pre-lamb shearing where weather and farm conditions allow. Beef cows are also fed supplementary feed to compliment pasture or grass consumption. Sheep and beef are set stocked for winter grazing, which means they are kept in the same paddock for longer, but there are fewer animals in each paddock. Winter is also a good opportunity to catch up on general farm maintenance.
Lambing and calving occurs in Spring (August to October). This is to coincide with Spring grass growth. Tailing (removing lamb tails to prevent disease) and lamb marking occurs in late Spring, usually 6 to 8 weeks after lambing. Good feed conditions for lactating cows is essential. In a stud situation, Spring is when calves are marked and identified for breeding opportunities or for finishing potential in terms of meat production. Hoggets (12-month old sheep) are shorn.
Summer is a very busy time on farm - with weaning of lambs and calves, which is separation from their mothers at an age they can maintain growth from grass only. The first draft of prime lambs occurs, and the main shearing event of the year occurs. Final identification of calves for future breeding occurs and others are indentified for sale.
Mating for sheep commences in Autumn, or in some cases in late Summer. Second shear or Autumn shear of ewes occurs. Where sheep are not being second or Autumn shorn they are crutched (this is the removal of wool from the rear end of the sheep to avoid formation of dags). Autumn is the time to maximize cattle growth and utilize fresh Autumn pasture, building cow condition in preparation for Winter.