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Why Preg Scan?

By Leesa Flanagan - Ruminant Technical Services
Published 5th February 2024

Understanding the reproductive performance of your flock not only helps you make informed decisions but also improve profitability. Pregnancy scanning is a relatively non-invasive method to give an insight into the productivity of each of your ewes. Ewes should be scanned for wet or dry status around 40 days after rams have been removed, or if scanning to detect the number of lambs, 80 to 100 days after the commencement of joining. 

The nutritional requirements of ewes are substantially different between maintenance (dry) and when pregnant or lactating with a lamb at foot. Requirements also change depending on the stage of pregnancy and more so when a ewe is carrying multiples. If not restricted by space, it is best practice to separate the drys from pregnant to better utilise feed resources to those ewes that need it and manage the drys at maintenance levels. Scanning can be used in conjunction with EIDs or individual identification tags to identify those ewes dry for a second year. Culling those animals will improve overall flock productivity. 

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Ewes carrying multiple lambs also increase productivity, if those lambs survive through to market weight or maturity. While twin or triplet lambs are known for lower survival rates, managing twins bearing ewes to their requirements substantially improves the chance of survival. The protein and energy demands of a multiple bearing ewe significantly increase during late gestation and lactation, and often aren't met through grazing alone. Pregnancy toxaemia, common in twin or triplet pregnancies, can be reduced in risk by ensuring energy and glucose needs are met. The supply of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium also need to be considered for healthy milk supply. 


Identifying pregnancy status in ewes can help make management decisions around mobs and lambing routine. Multiples bearing ewes will lamb better in smaller mobs with plenty of shelter, particularly in Merinos, this will help reduce the rate of mismothering. Supplements can be extremely useful in helping to meet requirements of pregnancy animals, as well as lactating ewes and growing lambs. The Elite Sheep Green Feed Lick is formulated to supply the essential levels of vitamins and minerals during lambing and lactation, and should be provided to ewes 6 weeks prior to lambing to allow the build up of stores, and left with ewes and labs at least 4 weeks post lambing. 


Get in touch to discuss the requirements of your flock and how to manage your feed post pregnancy scanning. 

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