Advanced Sheep and Beef Production (VETS8042)


This unit introduces the concepts of sheep (wool and meat) and beef cattle production in the Australian environment within the context of world food and fibre consumption and production. The key products as well as domestic and export markets for these are presented. The course provides an historical perspective of the basis for each of these industries and describes each of the production systems designed to meet the demand for these products.
Production in both the tropical and temperate regions of Australia will be covered and include the key elements of extensive grazing and intensive feedlot systems. Major issues will include breeds and breeding systems, basic nutrition and production practices and animal welfare issues as they affect the quality and quantity of product marketed.
The concepts of first stage processing of both meat and fibre products in abattoirs and top-making plants respectively will be presented. The major factors that influence the quality of product and therefore grading and market demand will be presented.
Lecture material will be supported with appropriate practical classes and a 5 day study tour to the Riverina to evaluate different commercial production systems. Students will also have an opportunity to compete in the annual Inter Collegiate Meat Judging (ICMJ) competition as a member of the University of Sydney team. This competition involves teams from numerous universities throughout Australia as well as Japan and the USA.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lectures 3hrs/wk, practicals 3hrs/wk


Case study (10%), practical report (15%), meat grading (15%), excursion report (20%) and written exam (40%) Practical field work: 5 day study tour to the Riverina


Anderson RS, Edney ATB 1991 Practical animal handling, Pergamon Press
Battaglia RA 2007, Handbook of livestock management 4th Edition, Prentice Hall
Cottle, DJ 2010, International sheep and wool handbook, Nottingham University Press
Ensminger, ME & Perry RC 1997, Beef cattle science, Interstate Publishers
Lawrie, RA 2006 Lawries meat science, 7th Edition, CRC Press
Massy, C 1990 The Australian merino, Viking O'Neil
Philips, G 2010 Principles of cattle production 2nd Edition, Landlinks Press, Collingwood
Temple, G 2000, Beef cattle handling and facilities design, Grandin Livestock Systems, Fort Collins, Colo

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge

and Veterinary Bioscience years 1-3 OR Bachelor of Science in Agriculture years 1-3 or equivalent.



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.