Sustainable Livestock Production Practices
You will complete TWO topics on this inquiry page. Scroll down to find the learning resources you will use. Keep track of the Need to Do tasks for these topics in your Livestock2 3040 Learning checklist.
How do sustainable production practices affect animal care & handling?

Livestock producers aim to produce high quality, safe agricultural products while using less land, water, feed, fuel and fertilizer, and generating less manure and greenhouse gas. Sustainable management practices ensure the welfare of animals while protecting their environments and maintaining economic stability. In this inquiry, you demonstrate your ability to handle livestock and provide for basic physical needs, including feed, water, space, ventilation, safety and health. You also assess and compare sustainable production practices and goals.

Demonstrate livestock production practices
Livestock that are humanely raised result in healthy animals and cost-effective production. Good animal husbandry involves knowledge of animal care requirements and recommended best practices. Why should you take daily responsibility for your animals’ welfare?

Need To Know
need to know Find out about the nutritional requirements of livestock in this Need to Know card. Beef cattle requirements for feed & water   |  
Sheep requirements for feed & water
need to do Consider how nutritional requirements should be adjusted for changing weather conditions, growth, maintenance and reproduction.
How to adjust beef cattle feed requirements  |  
How to adjust sheep feed requirements
need to do Watch this video to find information on feeding livestock.
Feed livestock
need to know Explore basic requirements for adequate light, air and ventilation.
Beef cattle requirements for light, air & ventilation   |  
Sheep requirements for light, air & ventilation
need to do Find out about minimum space requirements for living spaces.
Space requirements for beef cattle   |   Space requirements for sheep
need to do Explore practices and equipment for maintaining the safety and hygiene of livestock and their living spaces. How to clean beef cattle holding structures   |  
How to clean sheep holding structures
Handling & restraining
need to know Explore best practices and facilities for humane and safe handling and restraint of livestock. How to handle & restrain beef cattle   |  
How to handle & restrain sheep
need to do Consider how safe handling and restraint practices apply to transport.
How to handle beef cattle during transport   |  
How to handle sheep during transport
Addressing health & welfare
need to know Find out about your responsibility for identification and care of common livestock pests, ailments and disease.
How to deal with pests, ailments & disease in beef cattle   |  
How to deal with pests, ailments & disease in sheep
need to do Understand some basic practices for injections, and spaying and dusting livestock. How to administer basic treatments
need to do Watch this video to understand the importance of regular monitoring of livestock.
Monitor livestock
Caring for young
need to know Explore the needs of calves or lambs in these Need to Know cards.
Caring for calves   |   Caring for lambs
need to do Watch this video to find strategies for caring for young calves or lambs.
Caring for young
Need To Do
need to do Demonstrate your ability to meet basic livestock production needs, including feed, water and housing.
Demonstrate production practices to meet basic needs
need to do Demonstrate your ability to apply production practices for animal health and safety. Demonstrate production practices for animal health & safety
need to do Apply requirements and recommendations from Codes of Practice to areas of care for humane livestock production
Apply guidelines for humane care & handling
Introduction Use these graphic organizers to help you complete the learning tasks.
Wheel Chart  |   Storyboard
Introduction When you are finished the learning tasks, respond to the reflection question.
Reflect Five

These weblinks will help you complete the learning tasks.

Find detailed information on production practices in Keeping Flocks Healthy from BC Ministry of Agriculture.

Get a perspective on production in Feeding growing and finishing cattle for better returns from EBLEX in the UK.

Get more information in Water Requirements for Livestock.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex801/$file/400_716-1.pdf?OpenElement

Find out more about nutritional and feed decisions for bulls and yearlings in Bull Nutrition – Achieving Yearling Breeding.

Get more information and access detailed charts with specific daily feed rations and adjustments in Beef Cows and Winter Feeding Guidelines.

Find detailed information on nutrient requirements for maintenance, breeding, gestation, lactation, ewe lambs and feeding lambs in Flock Nutritional Requirements.

Get detailed and specific information on nutrition in Sheep and Goat Management in Alberta: Nutrition. 

Find more information on Nutrition from the Canadian Sheep Federation Virtual Tool Box.

Explore the information in the article, Ventilation Basics for Beef Cattle, found in the OMAFRA Virtual Beef magazine.

Find information in Beef Cattle Housing and Feedlot Facilities.

Consider the information about space in Housing Requirements for Backgrounding Beef Cattle.

Read Livestock Fencing Systems for Pasture Management.

For more information on natural and mechanical ventilation systems for sheep barns, read Ventilation Systems for Sheep Barns.

Find more information on Housing from the Canadian Sheep Federation Virtual Tool Box.

Get more information on space requirements in Feeding Systems for Sheep.

Find out about Housing for Sheep.

Get more information on fencing on the Sheep 201 website.

Find a number of articles from Temple Grandin on livestock handling and restraint.

Read more about handling and restraint in Behavioural Principles of Livestock Handling.

Use the quick reference card on beef cattle, found in Handling Cattle – Work Smarter, Not Harder.

Find more detailed explanations of Temple Grandin’s principles of restraint in Restraint of Livestock.

Find information on facilities used to handle cattle in Beef Cattle Handling Facilities General Information.

Use Temple Grandin’s practices for animal handling in Recommended Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit Guide for Cattle, Pigs and Sheep.

Get more information about handling and restraint in Handling sheep and lambs on the Sheep 201 website.

Find detailed descriptions in Recognizing and Managing Common Health Problems of Beef Cattle.

Find lists of sheep diseases and ailments, with notes on remedies and prevention strategies, in Flock Health Guide for BC Sheep Producers.

Find out more about injections in Giving Medication to Animals by Injection.

Get more information on dusting in Insecticide Dust Bags for Cattle Insect Control.

Find out how to give a sheep an injection in Flock Health from the Canadian Sheep Federation Virtual Tool Box.

Know sustainable production practices
Sustainable and humane livestock production practices focus on the health, welfare and productivity of animals, while conserving and protecting natural resources and the environment. Sustainable production is also concerned with food safety and value. What is one sustainable production strategy that you could implement and make a commitment to?

Need To Know
need to know Find out how weather, climate, soil and the land can affect feed and sheltering decisions for livestock. Livestock & the environment
need to know Explore sustainable livestock production management strategies that include disease prevention, biosecurity, food safety, pollution and biotechnology. Sustainable livestock production systems
Need To Do
Introduction Identify features in the production environment and assess their suitability to sustainable production activities. Assess environmental suitability
Introduction Identify and support two goals for sustainable livestock production.
Identify sustainable production goals
Introduction Use these graphic organizers to help you complete the learning tasks.
Plus-Minus Chart   |   If/When-Then Chart
Introduction When you are finished the learning tasks, respond to the reflection question.
Reflect Six
weblinks These weblinks will help you complete the learning tasks.

Find information about sustainable and humane production practices in Socially Conscious Consumer Trends Animal Welfare from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Explore a perspective on agricultural activities and climate change in Food and our planet from the David Suzuki Foundation.

Find a specific point of view about the impact of agriculture on the environment. 

Explore the information in What is Sustainable Agriculture?

Find examples of sustainable beef cattle management and production in Guide to Raising Healthy Beef.

Find out about the watershed approach in Getting to Know Your Local Watershed.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex5600?opendocument

Find out more about riparian areas on the Cows and Fish: Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society website.

Explore Riparian Areas: A User’s Guide to Health.

Consider the information on intensive livestock grazing in Management of Intensive Livestock Grazing.

Find an effective summary of the relationship between livestock and the environment in Pasture Management

Explore information on manure management, surface water management and good neighbour relationship practices in Beneficial Management Practices – Environmental Manual for Livestock Producers in Alberta.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex13088/$file/400_28-2.pdf?OpenElement

Find an overview of manure management practices in Managing Livestock Manure.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex12395

Explore the information and illustrations in Siting to Prevent Water Pollution.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/eng1739

Find out more about water pollution in A Primer on Water Quality: Impact of Livestock Production Practices on Water Quality.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/wat3349

Get information and links in Air Quality Resources for Alberta Livestock Producers.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/epw10940

Find more information on cleaning and disinfecting housing and handling facilities in Biosecurity Principles and Best Practices.

Access Species Specific Biosecurity Standards to find information and resources from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/cpv13243

Find more detailed information about biosecurity strategies in Biosecurity: Health Protection and Sanitization Strategies for Cattle and General Guidelines for Other Livestock from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Find detailed information on biosecurity, including monitoring flock health, record-keeping, food safety, breeding and handling in Keeping Flocks Healthy: Sheep and Goats. 

Find resources about food safety from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development on the Animal Health and Assurance Division website.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/afs7821.

Go to the Verified Beef Production website for information and resources. 

Get an overview of Canada’s Verified Beef Production Program.

Find information about the Canadian Sheep and Lamb Food Safe Farm Practices Program.

The Western Canadian Flock Health program, although not currently running, provides an excellent information source about standardized and sustainable health practices.

Consider the information and consult different resources on farm safety from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.$department/deptdocs.nsf/All/aet623

Explore a European perspective on breeding and reproductive approaches in Sustainable Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction – A Vision for 2025.