Animal health and welfare   /    On farm   /    Feedlot    

What's animal husbandry?

Animal husbandry practices cover a wide range of activities including animal care, health and hygiene and maintaining farm infrastructure.

Animal husbandry practices in Australia are designed with the health and safety of animals in mind.

The most common beef cattle husbandry techniques include:

Animal husbandry procedure 

What it means Why it's carried out
Castration Removal of the testicles from male cattle Controls breeding and ensures that calves are born at the optimum times of year for their welfare. It also reduces aggression and wandering in male animals.
Dehorning Removal of horns from young cattle Livestock without horns are less likely to hurt themselves, people or other livestock. Dehorning or disbudding is the process of removing or stopping the growth of horns in livestock. Breeding polled (hornless) livestock removes the need to dehorn or disbud livestock, or trim their horns. The industry has selectively bred out horns for 73% of the national cattle herd.
Branding Placing a permanent mark on the hide of cattle

Identifies ownership of cattle. Some states and territories require that cattle must be branded prior to sale. In other states, branding is not required.

Ear tagging

Placing a National Livestock Identification system tag (and possibly a property identification tag) in the ear of the cattle

Ensures lifetime traceability of cattle from farms, feedlots, saleyards to processing plants 

The most common sheep husbandry techniques include:

Animal husbandry procedure What it means Why it's carried out
Castration  Removal of the testicles from male sheep Controls breeding and ensures that lambs are born at the optimum times of year for their welfare. It also reduces aggression and wandering in male animals.
Tail docking Removal of a portion of a sheep’s tail Prevents flystrike in the wrinkles in an animal’s fleece and may also be required to meet some market requirements.
Ear marking A cut or mark in the ear of lambs that shows ownership, year of birth or gender Indicates ownership, year of birth or the gender of individual sheep.
Ear tagging Placing a National Livestock Identification System tag (and possibly a property identification tag) in the ear of sheep Ensures lifetime traceability of sheep from farms, feedlots, saleyards to processing plants. Tags provide provenance of animal care and enables tracking of disease outbreaks if required.
More information