Livestock

Sheep producers needed for online survey aimed at boosting lamb survival

Ms Kayla Kopp

Growing up on a merino stud in the central west of NSW meant Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) student Miss Kayla Kopp spent plenty of time around ewes and lambs, but her PhD research is giving her new insight.

Miss Kopp’s PhD at Charles Sturt’s School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences is investigating the nutritional supplementation of lambing ewes and is calling on sheep producers to take part in an online survey.

“The research aims to understand vaccination and nutritional supplementation of sheep and to find out more about the management practices and perceptions of farmers around lambing,” Miss Kopp said.

“The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete and participants remain anonymous.”

The project is supervised Professor Michael Friend and is part of a wider body of research at the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, an alliance between Charles Sturt and the NSW Department of Primary Industries, that aims to improve the productivity and profitability of sheep production.

“One in five lambs born in Australia die within days of birth, costing the industry over $1 billion each year,” Professor Friend said.

“Our research aims to better understand how those losses occur and to develop knowledge and tools that will help producers improve animal health and boost lamb survival.”

The survey is available online (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ lambsurvey) and sheep producers are invited to take part in the research until Saturday 31 August 2019.

Participants must be producers currently involved in the sheep industry either as farm owners or managers in NSW; must have ewes lambing on their property annually; and must have at least 50 sheep on their property.

The survey builds on Miss Kopp’s earlier field studies focused on nutritional suplementation and milk production.

Data from the study will contribute to research on animal welfare, animal nutrition and sheep production.

Source: CSU