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Which set up? Implementing confinement feeding

Project start date: 10 December 2021
Project end date: 28 September 2024
Project status: In progress
Livestock species: Sheep, Lamb
Relevant regions: Western Australia, Mediterranean
Site location: Western Australia: Three Springs; Coorow; Badgingarra


The purpose of this Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) is to define and demonstrate the financial outcomes, set up design and overall management required by those adopting confinement feeding while maximizing animal welfare, supporting producers interested in and implementing confinement feeding, with attention to:  

  • Site selection criteria 

  • Optimum mob sizes  

  • Joining and management of pregnant ewes and cows  

  • Monitoring and management of animal health and nutritional status  

  • Decision making on when confinement feeding is justified (under drought conditions; extreme weather events; other) 

  • Mineral supplementation 


By July 2024 in Western Australia, across at least three demonstration sites:

  1. Demonstrate the potential of confinement feeding sheep at the break of the pasture growing season in two different confinement systems (including pen and small paddock), compared to a traditional paddock feeding regime:
    • To increase quality and quantity of pasture available due to being deferred (FOO)
    • To impact potential stocking rate and carrying capacity of pasture (DSE/ha)
  2. Conduct a cost benefit analysis to determine the relative economic performance of confinement feeding compared to regular paddock feeding as demonstrated in Objective 1. This will include:
    • Feed costs
    • Labour efficiency and cost
    • Condition score advantage (measure by CS at start and end of confinement period)
    • Ability to increase stocking rate through higher carrying capacity
  3. Conduct a series of extension activities to showcase the demonstration sites, and increase knowledge, skills and confidence of 60% of core producers and 30% of observer producers and wider community producers in confinement feeding techniques:
    • Condition score
    • Feed budgeting
    • Pasture assessment of deferred pastures
    • Health and welfare management
    • Best practice management of confinement feeding (stocking density, pen design as well as the above measurements such as condition scoring)
  4. By the end of the project, 50% of core producers will have adopted confinement feeding and 30% of observers intend to.


The PDS, Which set up? Implementing Confinement Feeding, managed by AgPro Management, commenced in February 2022 with a core producer group in the Northern Agriculture region of WA. The project aims to identify WHY producers are wanting to confinement feed, and WHEN confinement feeding should be implemented. So far, the producer group has identified the key value of confinement as resting pastures at the break of the season.  

This has been particularly valuable in 2023, with a poor season start. The project has also looked at alternative uses for confinement set ups, with all year round use as holding pens for times such as shearing, to fatten lambs or ewes/whether prior to being sold. 

Get involved

To find out more contact:

Brianna Hindle