Stock containment areas at Wooroonook

Vision: Aerial view of containment area

Title: Stock containment areas

A stock containment area is a carefully selected fenced section of the property which is set up to hold, feed and water livestock.

Vision: Ground level view of containment area

This is beneficial for maintaining stock condition as well as protecting soil and pasture resources during adverse seasons.

Vision: Stock containment areas

Stock containment areas are vital pieces of infrastructure to manage through dry times but have many other benefits. Agriculture Victoria has guidelines to assist landholders in designing and constructing an efficient stock containment area.

Vision: Ground level view of paddock —  silos —  road

In 2015 the Victorian Government provided grants for farmers in drought affected areas of the state to construct stock containment areas.

Martin Hamilton - Land Management Extension Officer - Agriculture Victoria:

'We're concerned that a lot of paddocks are run bare and dry. And farmers are spending a lot of time chasing sheep, looking after sheep, feeding sheep and even carting water in some areas. So this is a really solid way of helping farmers manage their livestock over summer.'

Vision: Narrator speaking - Martin Hamilton speaking with Trevor Roberts - map of Trevor's farm location

Trevor Roberts is a sheep and cropping farmer at Wooroonook west of Charlton.

Vision: Aerial view of containment area

While cropping is the major enterprise on the 1400 hectare farm, Trevor also runs 2,000 ewes that lamb in April and May. Managing stock through dry times has changed dramatically for Trevor.

Trevor Roberts - Farmer - Wooroonook:

'Dad used to say, you know, like we'd have to destock and that sort of thing, we can't feed them forever. It's, you know, because you didn't have the grain and you couldn't keep the hay.'

Vision: Sheep

'We didn't have balers and that sort of thing in those days. Yeah, we've got a containment area here set up for dry periods of time.'

Vision: Aerial view of containment area - Martin Hamilton speaking:

'You can see here these yards are superbly designed and located towards the shearing shed so that at shearing time the yards can be used as a pen, holding pen.'

Vision: Sheep in containment area

'The yards can be used for other reasons or other purposes as well, not just stock containment areas.'

Vision: Aerial view of containment area

'They can be used in times, or need a quarantine when the sheep have to be quarantined from the mob.'

Vision: Martin speaking:

'In times of adverse weather conditions the yards can be used then too. Not just during a drought for stock containment, they can be used to house the sheep and get them out of danger.'

Vision: Narrator speaking - sheep - shade cloth in containment area:

Because the site did not have a shelter belt of trees to provide ready-made shade, Trevor installed shade cloth along the fence line on the western side of the yards. We put shade cloth down, and it's only in the last two years, and about a metre high.

Vision: Trevor Roberts speaking:

'And we wondered whether the sheep would be inclined to use it, and yeah, they go in under there quite well.'

Vision: Sheep under shade cloth

'On a hot day they're in a big strip in the shade, so yeah, it works really good. The main reason we didn't go very high is because we utilised the fence height which is about a metre.'

Vision: Water tank - Narrator speaking

The Wimmera-Mallee pipeline goes past the property and supplies water to the stock containment areas.

Vision: Aerial view of containment area - Trevor speaking:

'We've got hay feeders and self-feeders for the grain.'

Vision: Aerial view of containment area

'And we make up a bit of a mix to get the protein up.'

Vision: Sheep - Narrator speaking

The sheep have access to food and water at all times.

Vision: Trevor speaking

And as Trevor says, 'yeah, well if they've got a full belly they're very happy, yeah.'

Vision: Sheep - Trevor speaking:

'And they've got some nice little —  nice grain in there to eat. We give a little bit of peas and barley and oats.'

Vision: Key messages

Stock containment areas —  more than a drought measure

Victoria State Government

Speaker: Authorised by Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne

Page last updated: 27 Jul 2021