Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 3: Market Focused Lamb and Sheepmeat Production
Tool 3.4
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Quality assurance procedure


Breeding: use only high performance LAMBPLAN tested meat breed rams that suit your production system. Source ewes of high genetic merit.

Record lambplan figures of rams used and evaluate figures in future purchases to suit production system

Marking and vaccination: mark lambs between 3 and 6 weeks of age. Minimise carcase and pelt damage by vaccinating behind the head or ear.

Vaccinate only on the head or neck. Record date, volume and vaccine used.

Pastures: graze lambs on high-quality pastures to achieve target growth rates from birth to sale. Manage stock to achieve constant growth rates in lambs

Weigh a sample of lambs at marking, weaning and prior to sale.

Management: draft lambs into three weight ranges so the growth rates of different mobs can be monitored. Assess mobs close to target sale weight and fat score.

Record weights and segregation dates.

Mustering: avoid excessive stress on lambs and move them carefully in hot weather. Muzzle all dogs and use low stress stock handling methods (see procedure 11.5 in Healthy and Contented Sheep).

Watch the weather. Use well trained dogs and adopt low stress stock handing techniques.

Assessment close to or at point of sale: weigh all lambs 2-3 hours off feed and draft those meeting target specifications. Use an estimated dressing percentage to calculate carcase weight.

Fat score about 20% of each weight category at the GR site. If the processor has a strict grid that rewards targeted GR ranges then fat score all lambs.

Take care when forcing lambs, to avoid skin and pelt damage. Complete National Vendor Declarations for each consignment.

Record all liveweights, fat scores of sale lots and the estimated carcase weights.

Make comparisons to feedback sheets.

Do not use spray marks on the main body area.

Health treatments: observe the correct withholding and export slaughter interval periods for any drenches, dips or antibiotics used.

Keep a record of treatment dates and application rates. Supply records on request.

Crutching and shearing: ensure sale lambs are free of faeces and stain. Bung-hole crutch only to maximise skin value. Crutch at least 7 days before sale to avoid stress. Do not send lambs to market with unhealed or infected wounds.

Record dates of crutching and shearing.

Loading transport: move lambs quietly to avoid stress. Use muzzled dogs. Do not lift lambs by the wool. Observe recommended trucking densities.

Sheep should be kept of feed for 12 hours prior to trucking. Lambs should have access to water at all times whilst not in transit. Time off feed should not be greater than 48 hours before slaughter

Watch the weather. Use accredited livestock carriers. Agree to a loading time.

Marketing: use market coordinators or agents to trade lambs on a Hot Standard Carcase Weight basis, preferably within a marketing alliance or agreement. Seek feedback on each consignment.

Apply a professional approach to marketing and use feedback in a continuous improvement program.