Pregnancy scans help improve profits
Sheep producers can improve returns by pregnancy scanning for multiple births and managing their flock accordingly, according to the Department of Agriculture and Food.
The department is urging producers with ewes ready to lamb in July to act soon to reap such rewards, with the ideal window for scanning pregnant ewes regarded as 90 to 100 days from the beginning of joining.
DAFWA senior development officer Mandy Curnow said the investment of 60 to 80 cents an ewe could easily be recouped by reduced feed costs.
"Pregnancy scanning enables producers to know which ewes are carrying multiple lambs and they can manage their mobs more effectively," she said.
"In most flocks, more than 60 per cent of the lambs conceived are twins. Looking after the ewes bearing these lambs is much more important to lift the marking rate than increasing nutrition before joining.
"Lifting the twin survival rate from 50 to 70 per cent can mean an extra 15 lambs marked per 100 ewes in an average Merino flock, giving a five-fold return on scanning."
By identifying ewes bearing multiple lambs, Ms Curnow said sheep producers could implement management strategies that could optimise the birth-weight of the lambs when they were born and, ultimately, their marking rate.
Information on pregnancy scanning can be found at www.sheepcrc.org.au.
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