Scanning ewes early pays off

Last updated 14:51 28/05/2013

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This is the year to have sheep scanned if you haven't done it before.

Scanning is about finding dries, single and multiple-bearing ewes, said a veterinarian from Totally Vets, Ginny Dodunski.

She said farmers should be using scanning knowledge to get rid of dries, and feed ewes according to the lambs they were carrying.

This year there will probably be more dries and fewer multiples than usual, as ewes were lighter going to rams at mating. And with a winter feed shortage looming, there was less pasture to allocate, said Dodunski.

"So for goodness sake scan your ewes, as early as possible, and make use of the information and opportunities."

It means ewes carrying multiple lambs can be run separately and fed better.

She said if feed was going to be short, then the less weight the ewes with twins lost, the better.

Scanning also gave the ability to tighten ewes with single bearing lambs and put them on tougher parts of the farm, said Dodunski.

"The cost of a single ewe spending a day longer in a paddock than she should on a winter rotation is way less than the cost of doing this to a ewe with twins or triplets."

She said the ability to know what feed demand would be was very worthwhile.

Farmers who tended to ignore scanning in the past because they had said they hardly got any dries, or singles should check ewes this autumn - as normal rules might not apply after the drought, Dodunski said.

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- Waikato Times

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