Using mulga as a forage supplement for livestock in droughts


Mulga (usually Acacia aneura) covers large areas of the NSW rangelands.

Livestock readily eat mulga, grazing leaves within their reach as well as recent leaf fall.

During drought, mulga provides a valuable feed source. Branches and selected trees are commonly lopped or pushed to allow stock access to leaves above browse height.

Mulga can effectively supplement low quality pasture as the nutritive value of mulga leaf is largely retained through dry periods, whereas the energy and protein levels of grass declines quickly as they mature or die off.

Mulga also has longer growth periods as it gains moisture and nutrients from a greater depth and area of soil. As a drought progresses and grass quality declines, livestock most likely will select mulga exclusively.

Feeding mulga at best maintains the live weight of dry stock. Pregnant and lactating animals fed mulga require supplementation with better quality feeds to prevent considerable weight loss.

Topics include:

  • Important considerations
  • Selecting an area
  • Feeding using a chainsaw
  • Feeding using Bulldozers
  • Where to start?
  • How much to cut or push?
  • Feed quality of mulga
  • Mineral supplementation
  • Molasses supplementation
  • Pregnancy and Lactation
  • Water
  • When to stop feeding mulga and use an alternative strategy
  • Protect and improve the resource
  • Case studies


Primefact 1487 First Edition

Published: Aug 2016