Become a Professional Livestock Manager

Whether you are dealing with cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, or some other livestock; this course can provide a valuable foundation for a solid business or career in the livestock industry.

Become a Professional Livestock Manager

  • Learning for fork on farm or off farm
  • A broad foundation in both the underpinning science and economic knowledge for managing livestock
  • A global focus so you can better adapt to an increasingly global livestock marketplace 


Course Code - VAG033



Fifteen modules as follows:



The Core Modules are listed, below. Please click on the module titles for further information on each.

Animal Husbandry I (Animal Anatomy and Physiology) BAG101
Animal Husbandry II (Animal Health) BAG201
Animal Husbandry III (Feed and Nutrition) BAG202
Pasture Management BAG212
Animal Behaviour BAG203
Genetics BSC207
Animal Breeding BAG301
Farm Management BAG104
Agricultural Marketing BAG304
Research Project I BGN102
Industry Project or Workshop I (for further details, see below).


Students are to select 4 Electives any of the following:

Aquaculture BAG211
Beef Cattle BAG206
Dairy Cattle BAG205
Calf Rearing BAG207
Goat Husbandry BAG223
Horse Care I BAG102
Horse Care II BAG204
Horse Care III BAG302
Organic Farming BAG305
Sheep BAG210
Pigs BAG209
Poultry BAG208
Organic Farming BAG305


Course Duration - 1,500 hours



It is wise to never get too far ahead of yourself. Don't lock yourself into any one type of animal or type of production. The world is constantly changing, with old opportunities fading and new ones emerging. Fibre or milk production can be more profitable than meat production at one point in time; then within the space of a few years, a glut may develop in the supply of fibre or milk, while the demand for meat increases.

The smart livestock farmer is adaptable, with a capacity to find new cash flow streams when things become difficult; perhaps through farm tourism or value adding.

There's a lot to learn about livestock farming and this is a course that can take you along the right pathway.


Consider Sheep

Sheep are kept for wool, meat or milk production; sometimes all three.

With wool production, the most common breed for efficient and quality wool production in Australia is the Merino or Merino-crossbred. Merinos are generally smaller than other breeds, therefore they are not usually reared for their meat. 
The Merino fleece is classed depending on its quality, or more accurately, the fineness of the fibres of the fleece. Measurements of strength, length and fineness (measured in microns) are taken.  Variants in the classes range from the strong broad wools, the thickest of all the fibres, through medium thickness (as a fine wool Merino), through to an Ultrafine Merino. Ultrafine fleeces are used to be blended with other fibres often to produce most soft fabrics such as silks and cashmeres. Seasonal condition and the overall health of the sheep affect the quality of the wool.  A break (or window) in the wool is common if the sheep is unwell.

Merinos are not a particularly hardy species and tend to succumb to climatic conditions or parasites before other more robust species.  It is therefore important to consider this when thinking of your potential wool production enterprise. If you live in an area of high humidity and warmth, you are going to face health issues associated with those conditions, for example fleece rot. 

To raise thriving and healthy Merino's requires excellent knowledge of this gentle breed.  

Merinos have a poor maternal reputation – they tend to have a relatively high orphan rate (estimated to be around 30%), especially when faced with survival in drought conditions. Maiden ewes are well known for abandoning their lambs in tough arid conditions, so farmers can be faced with stock loss or intensive labour trying to pair them up and encourage mothers to nurse their lambs in holding pens at lambing season.  Particularly strong or aggressive ewes have been known to butt and trample their offspring to death. 

For meat production or prime lamb production (breeding lambs for slaughter), the most common breed for mouth-watering, succulent lamb will be bred from a cross of Suffolk rams and Merino ewes (or the Short-wool Dorset ram alternatively).  Factors in the crossing include muscle mass and frame size, fast-maturing lambs and high twinning rates.  These combined create economical efficiency for the farmer. 

If you're thinking of buying sheep for meat produce, carefully analyse the health history of the flock if possible.  Avoid sheep with parasite infestation or disease.  Look out for signs of poor health which include dark, blue skins, paleness in the lining of the nose and eyelids, lameness and lack of vigour. 

With lamb production, you will want to ensure adequate muscling.  Muscling is shown by the thickness and firmness of the leg, firmness of muscle over the top, and in the shoulders.  Meaty heavy muscled lambs are more desirable than fat lambs.  Excessive fat is undesirable. 

When it comes to feeding your lambs, you should consider only using high-quality feeds and change rations gradually.  You may be able to vaccinate your lambs against what is known casually as overeating disease (enterotoxemia) when starting them on concentrate rations.  Lambs that have been fed hard feed should not necessarily be left simply out on pasture as their rate of weight gain will slow down.  A concentrate-roughage ratio should be changed every 7-10 days as the lambs become heavier.  By the end of the feeding period, the lambs should be receiving 90% concentrate and 10% roughage. 

Some reminders: 

  • Remember to drench your lambs to control internal parasites. 
  • Spray or dip to control external parasites such as lice (and where applicable ticks).  
  • Isolate sick lambs. 
  • Record all vaccinations, parasite controls and any other medications administered. 
  • Record birth and weaning weights – you can pick up forms from specialist farming and agricultural government departments to help you get started with record keeping. 
  • Remember foot trimming is important to help prevent foot related ailments such as foot rot.  
  • Provide fresh clean water always.  
  • Salt and mineral licks can ensure other nutritional requirements are met.  
  • If you're unsure about anything – call a large animal vet!

For milk and other products i.e. lanolin, soap, cheese and milk it is important to consider the market for the product you may like to sell. All of these make nice added value extras to any sheep enterprise – even the sale of wool from the largest sheep stations in Australia will include having the lanolin extracted from the fleeces for production of lanolin products (lanolin comes from the greasy substance which covers the wool fibres).   





Just go to the top of this page for pricing and enrolment options. If you have any questions you can contact us now, by:
Phone (UK) 01384 44272, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected]