Pregnancy Scanning

The value of pregnancy scanning - should I do it?

Pregnancy scanning is a great management tool to improve profits for meat and wool enterprises, particularly those running higher stocking rates and when paddock feed is in short supply.

The decision to pregnancy scan ewes, either for wet/dry or multiples, is an important one and benefits vary with season, the reproductive rate of the flock and the management of the scanned ewes and whether their number will affect the overall flock structure. It provides these farmers with vital information for their feed budgeting; particularly in poor years where stocking rates and feed requirements need to be accurately matched. It can be used to determine the impact of flock productivity and feed budgeting on farm profit.

Farmers in meat enterprises are reliant on achieving high reproductive rates and optimizing feeding and management to achieve good turn-off rates in the shortest time. Pregnancy scanning when combined with concise joining periods and differential management and selection practices is a key tool for any profitable enterprise.

The difference in benefits between scanning for pregnancy or scanning for multiple foetuses has long been a point of discussion. Recently the Sheep CRC in conjunction with the lifetimewool project analysed the economic impact of both techniques for a wool enterprise. The results of this analysis provides some important insights in what role pregnancy scanning has on whole farm profitability and how to make a judgment on whether to scan for multiples or just wet/dry status and how then to manage those ewes. See the full report available for download below.

Key points:

  • The more dry ewes in the mob, the more benefit there is from scanning.
  • The more twin-bearing ewes in the mob, the greater the benefit from scanning for twins and managing the twinners separately.
  • The value of scanning increases with a poor season or a time of likely feed shortage over pregnancy.

For more information





For a list of Scanning Contractors in your state



To find out about Managing Ewe Potential Workshops


 


Practical Wisdom Notes / Fact Sheets

PW1.1 Enterprise Management Series

In this series:

  1. Optimising stocking rate - the key to increasing pasture utilisation and profit - November 2006

  2. Profitability of sheep enterprises in southern Australia - November 2006

  3. Lambing at the right time in southern Australia - the first step to increasing sheep profits - November 2006


PW1.3 Reproduction Series

In this series:

  1. Managing ewes for joining
  2. Managing ewes in late pregnancy
  3. Managing Merino weaners
  4. The value of pregnancy scanning
  5. Successful pregnancy scanning

PW1.5 Precision Sheep Management

In this series:

  1. Profiting from Individual Electronic Identification (eID)

  2. Pedigree Matchmaker - determining dam pedigree

  3. Individual Electronic Identification (eID)


Reports, Articles and Presentations

ASKBILL for a crystal-clear look at the future

Managing sheep health can be complicated and it can often seem that a crystal ball would be a good tool to have at your disposal so you could predict the future - By Jill Griffiths.


Scanners Newsletters

News Releases

DNA Flock Profile cements the foundations for new flock
Developing a flock with the right mix of genetics can take generations to perfect, but DNA testing has put Geelong sheep and wool producer Jack Briscoe on the fast track to success. Mr Briscoe is only a year into breeding his own Merino flock after branching out from his sheep contracting business by cobbling together a mixture of 800 home-bred and yard-bought ewes as his breeding base. Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/dna-flock-profile-cements-the-foundations-for-new-flock-28-11-2017.php
Faster sheep DNA testing with new Australian GeneSeek lab
Sheep breeders using DNA testing to improve their genetic selections can look forward to faster turnaround times for test results thanks to Neogen Corporation’s decision to establish a genomic testing laboratory within Australia. GeneSeek Australasia, a wholly owned subsidiary of United States-based parent company Neogen, has acquired the assets of the Animal Genetics Laboratory (AGL), based at the Gatton campus of the... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/faster-sheep-dna-testing-with-new-australian-geneseek-lab-04-09-2017.php
Dramatic increase in early season searches on RamSelect
Inquiry for rams through RamSelect has never been stronger with a dramatic increase in the number of buyers searching the site so far this season compared to last year. More than 1129 ram searches were conducted on RamSelect during July, compared to just 154 at the same time last year. Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/dramatic-increase-in-early-season-searches-on-ramselect-22-08-2017.php
DNA testing to drive new era of ewe competitions
The traditional ewe competition is set to enter the innovation era with the inclusion of DNA Flock Profile tests as part of next year’s Doug Bicket Memorial Ewe trial in Parkes, NSW. The Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) will provide DNA profiling for all flocks entering the 2018 competition, currently valued at $800 plus GST per flock, as a means of supporting improved genetic selection... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/dna-testing-to-drive-new-era-of-ewe-competitions-18-07-2017.php
The predictive power of ASKBILL immortalised in song
An off-the-cuff comment and a spur of the moment decision to “have a go” have resulted in the sheep industry’s new predictive app, ASKBILL, being brought to life in song by Uralla musician Rhonda Brooks. Performed in a bush ballad style by Coffs Harbour musician Mal Winckle, the track is proving a popular addition to the ASKBILL website, helping to capture producers’ imagination as to the possibilities on offer... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/the-predictive-power-of-askbill-immortalised-in-song-10-07-2017.php
RamSelect moves towards commercial business model
The popular RamSelect app will move to a commercial funding model ahead of this season’s ram sales, as a first step towards ensuring the genetic selection tool’s financial viability and availability to producers in the long-term. RamSelect Plus is an easy to use web-based application, www.ramselect.com.au, which allows ram buyers to find and rank rams based on Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) that match their own... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/ramselect-moves-towards-commercial-business-model-03-07-2017.php
Faster, more accurate DNA Parentage and Poll test to be released in July
Sheep breeders will have access to a faster, more accurate DNA test for parentage and poll/horn status from July, which also includes new features to detect a range of genetic defects. First launched in 2012 by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC), the DNA Parentage and Poll test has proven very popular with sheep breeders seeking to improve their genetic selections through more precise... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/faster-more-accurate-dna-parentage-and-poll-test-to-be-released-in-july-26-06-2017.php
‘Eye opening’ DNA Flock Profile delivers new breeding insights at Beechworth
DNA testing to obtain a genetic flock profile has changed the way Victorian Merino breeder Stuart Warner not only looks at his flock, but how he will approach his genetic selection decisions in the future. As a registered deliverer of Bred Well Fed Well and RamSelect workshops, Mr Warner has a close understanding of the power of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) as an objective genetic selection tool. Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/eye-opening-dna-flock-profile-delivers-new-breeding-insights-at-beechworth-05-06-2017.php
The power of prediction now in sheep producers’ hands – just ASKBILL
A new app launched today will give sheep producers the power to see their stock’s future, all from the palm of their hand. The app, available at www.askbill.com.au, was made live to the public today, marking the start of a limited offering of the ASKBILL platform as part of a pre-release user feedback program – a vital step in putting the finishing touches to the product prior to ASKBILL’s full commercial release later... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/the-power-of-prediction-now-in-sheep-producers-hands-just-askbill-22-05-2017.php
To see your livestock’s future, just ASKBILL – new app live from Monday
Sheep producers and farm advisers are set to be wowed by the predictive power of the Sheep CRC’s latest flock-management app, ASKBILL, which will be released to industry on Monday. The web-based app, www.askbill.com.au, has been designed to draw on information generated by biophysical models that use daily downloads of climate data and forecasts to provide estimates for individual farms of the risk of flystrike and... Click Here To Read Full Article » https://www.sheepcrc.org.au/information/news/to-see-your-livestocks-future-just-askbill-new-app-live-from-monday-16-05-2017.php
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