Changing the thinking – Ewe efficiency
With the move away from retaining wethers for wool production towards prime lamb production, there is a requirement to move away from the current views that more lambs is the ultimate goal. This has some huge potential downfalls.
Utilising tools to get the best out of your sheep production system
An increasing desire of farmers to take advantage of the elevated lamb prices means potential to promote useful tools that can aid the farmer in achieving this goal. Using tools such can increase the production levels of the ewes. However, contradicting this is the additional drive to increase labour efficiency. The farmer needs to balance the potentially increased workload with the associated benefits of using these tools.
However, 3 main tools that can be used to aid in improving ewe performance include:
1. Monitoring pasture for quality and quantity
2. Pregnancy scanning
3. Condition scoring
Setting, monitoring and achieving targets – the secret to improved animal performance?
Setting and achieving targets aid in achieving improved animal performance and collecting the correct information that allows the farmer to determine their progress in achieving these targets is just as important. Tools like assessing pasture for quality and quantity, pregnancy scanning, condition score, live weight and fat scoring of lambs are only useful if they are utilized correctly.
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Condition scoring – what is it?
Condition scoring (CS) was first thought of in 1919 and converted into a 5-point scoring system (1 = emaciated or very skinny to 5 = over fat) in 1961, so this means that the idea of CS has been around nearly 100 years with the scoring system for farmers to utilize being around for 50 years.
Why is it not used more by farmers?
Is it due to not understanding the CS system and how to do it or the benefits or reluctance to use the system due to increased labour costs?