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Pregnancy scanning ewes for decision making

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Livestock Officer, Max Newsome

In drought years it is critical to pregnancy scan your ewes and make management decisions based on this information. The two main things you should be doing with this scanning information are:

  1. Know your rate of conception and the reasons you achieved this result. Have changes in management this year given you the results you wanted?
  2. From your scanning results draft and manage your dry, single and twin bearing ewes separately as they all have different nutritional requirements.

Cross bred ewes reach peak energy requirements 25 days after lambing. These ewes require approximately 25 MJ/day for a twin bearer, 14-18 MJ/day for a single bearer and 8MJ/day for a dry ewe.

There is a definite need to manage your dry, single and twin bearing ewes in separate mobs. If you run these three classes of stock together your dry ewes will out compete your pregnant and lactating stock.

Even if you leave the single and multiple bearing ewes in the same mob it will have a direct negative impact on lamb and ewe survival and lamb growth – it is very important to manage each mob separately.

If you shear your pregnant ewes in winter keep in mind that the nutritional requirements will increase dramatically as the cold weather and/or wind, coupled with no fleece, will cause them to burn more energy to keep warm.

Consider feeding grain or a good quality hay as a source of energy. I realise these feeds are difficult and expensive to source but can make the difference to the survival of the ewe and lamb.

For more information please contact the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services livestock officer’s Max Newsome on 0427 007 190 or Brent McLeod on 0413 884 710.

Media contact: Annabelle Monie 0429 626 326