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 Post subject: Disappointing scanning
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:35 pm
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Location: London Borough of Kent
carried on from TIHBM....

RGSP wrote:
si-mate wrote:
TIHBM very pleased that my ewes scanned at 210%

TIHBM not so pleased that was just for the flock of 10 zwartbles. The rest scanned at a very disappointing 166%.

Not quite sure where I went wrong there tbh. I kept them maybe a bit tight after weaning, but put them onto good grass 6 weeks before tupping, wormed, fluked and bolused them and even gave them a bit of food to get them to around cs 3.5.


Missed this first time round Si. For commercial sheep, 166% sounds only marginally on the low side to me: much more than that and you'll have lots of triplets, and triplets are dubious economically for general health reasons, extra shepherding care, too much milk demand on the ewes (including more mastitis), and slower growing meaning that they may well need better quality grass or even creep food to finish. The Zwartbles ought to come in with a higher percentage, but as you probably well know, they aren't really commercially competitive except in a niche market.


It's not disastrous but to go from 186% in 2013, 193% in 2014 to this is concerning, particularly as I was so full of hope as they really did have the kitchen sink thrown at them pre tupping - bolus, toxovac, fluke and worm drench and moved onto good grazing. I even gave them a bit of cake as I had let them get a little lean post weaning.

The only two factors I can come up with are that I had them two lean before flushing or maybe because I used one ram per group. 1 in with 68, 1 in with 35, 1 in with 40. In the big group all were marked within the first cycle, 20 or so were marked in the second cycle, 3 were marked in the 3rd.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:53 pm 
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Location: south Suffolk
I understand what you're saying, and why you're disappointed Si. On the other hand, with livestock it's impossible to understand ALL the reasons for their performance, or the lack of it. In your case this year, there are umpteen minor viral and bacterial infections which can cut conception rates in the way you report without showing any other symptoms unless you're looking really really hard.

You could say your 2013 and 2014 results were a little above the long term likely average, and the 2015 result is a bit below. The interesting thing, observed over many years, is that lambing % does correlate across the country on different farms. Contributors to that are direct weather, indirect weather via the quality of the year's forage, and minor infections mostly too slight to notice. How much each contributes in any year is a fine area for Veterinary research, but not very accessible to individual farmers.


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