Ewe Containment Areas

With dry conditions over the last few years and in particular the late autumn breaks, sheep producers are implementing containment areas to preserve ground cover, feed stock more precisely and with a lower energy requirement than if they were walking around a bare paddock. The containment area allows producers to maintain their stocking rate, rather than having to de-stock, so they can recover quickly after dry conditions. This also ensures they maintain groundcover across their property to ensure beneficial natural resource management outcomes and aid in a quick recovery process.

There has been an increase in the use of containment over the last 5 years in many regions and there are many producers intending to implement containment area’s in the near future. One of the restrictions to implementing containment areas was the confidence and knowledge to implement and feed stock successfully. Often stock can be under fed or overfed in containment which can have a detrimental effect on reproductive success and the % of lambs that survive through to weaning.

The project is supported by Meat and Livestock Australia and is a Producer Demonstrations Site Project (PDS).

This Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) aimed to:

Demonstrate and assess the use of on-farm ‘containment area’ to:

  • Maintain annual enterprise stocking rate
  • Maintain ground cover
  • Increase the reproductive rate
  • Maintain condition score of the ewe to increase lamb marking percentage and maintain wool cut
During this project we:
  • Conducted a cost benefit analysis to determine the economic performance of the use of containment compared to non-containment areas.
  • Upskilled producers to increase their confidence in the use of electronic identification, condition scoring, ground cover monitoring and feed budgeting.
  • Conducted extension activities to encourage adoption of key practices.


  • Producer Discussion on Containment Ewe Areas

    November 2020

  • Managining Summer Ewe Nutrition

    February 2020

Other Resources

  • Tech Note: The Value of Supplementing Minerals to Ewes in Supplementation

    March 2020

For more information on the project or any of our extension activities contact: Deb Scammell, 0407790622 or deb@talkinglivestock.com.au

Ewe Containment Areas

Case Study Videos

Case Studies

  • Schutz: Maintain ground cover in extremely dry years

    December 2022

  • Foulis: Containment feeding to manage nutritional requirement of ewes in an accessible location

    November 2022

  • Mosey: Containment Feeding decision to manage pre-lambing nutritional requirements of the ewe and improve pastures

    November 2022

  • Nietschke: Containment feeding allows ground cover to be maintained and pastures to establish prior to June/July lambing

    October 2022

  • Mitchell: Containment feeding decision to improve ground cover and allow ease of management

    October 2022

  • Keyneton Station: Containment feeding improves pasture recovery, reduces labour and increases lambing percentages

    June 2022

  • Brown's: Containment feeding decision to preserve ground cover and regenerate hills

    July 2020