Revell Science | Independent Science Consultant
When cattle are relocated from pastoral properties to farms in the agricultural region of WA, they encounter unfamiliar pastures and other new experiences, which can be associated with a lag in performance. Impaired performance during transition periods increases the costs of producing body weight gain. In addition, it is important to pro-actively manage animal welfare for the benefits of both animals and the production systems.
Recent studies and anecdotal evidence show that a lag in productivity faced by cattle in transition from rangelands to farm can be reduced by using behaviour-based methods before the animals are transported from the stations and/or upon arrival at backgrounding farms.
Application, testing and fine-tuning of these new methods under commercial conditions are required.
Efficient and sustainable backgrounding systems will create opportunities for adding value to production systems, enhancing the capacity of producers to participate in different markets, and seeking continual improvement in animal welfare.