Fixing fences and feeding livestock
It is important to consider how you are going to keep animals fed and watered in the medium-term. It is a good idea to seek help in this situation with feed budgets, cash flow and the return of the property to productivity. If needing to re-fence, use it as an opportunity to decide about redesigning paddocks, laneways and quarantine or stock introduction areas.
The options for dealing with limited feed-on-offer are agistment, buying in feed where required, selling stock and emergency slaughter. Emergency slaughter for affected animals is a possibility but is usually logistically difficult and most abattoirs are not interested or are running to capacity with other stock. Decisions on emergency slaughter should consider welfare as a priority.
Bringing in fodder brings with it risks of introducing weeds, pests and chemical contaminants or residues. You should always ask for a Commodity Vendor Declaration and feed out in narrow and well defined areas so it is easier to monitor emergence and control, weeds after the autumn break.
The VFF are coordinating emergency fodder supplies so for donations or for affected producers requiring emergency supplies: Victorian Farmers Federation on 1300 882 833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Feeding to keep animals alive will follow the same procedure as you would in a drought feeding situation. Use of a containment areas or sacrifice paddocks, is important to allow: recovery, control of weeds and management of animals during the time pastures and farm infrastructure is returned to something approaching normal. Agriculture Victoria has developed specific information about feeding livestock when feed is limited.
It is important to supply water of sufficient quality and quantity in the immediate and longer-term after a fire. Dams can become heavily polluted after fire when rain causes excessive runoff of ash and other organic matter. You can reduce this reducing this risk with sediment fencing.
For more information on water in the recovery period visit:
Agistment can be a convenient solution to overcome short to medium term feed deficits. It is important to consider any biosecurity risk, have a clear understanding and written agreements on responsibilities for care, feeding and return of stock with the landowner BEFORE moving stock.