Pregnancy testing in ewes is performed via trans-abdominal ultrasound. The ideal time for this procedure is from 45 days of gestation (7 weeks after rams out). Scanning for empty / pregnant or for multiple pregnancy can be performed and a report and interpretation of results should be provided. Pregnancy testing can also be used as one part of an investigation of poor reproduction performance in a flock.
The decision to pregnancy scan ewes, either for empty/pregnant or multiples, is an important one. The economic benefit of pregnancy scanning is greater in situations where there are more dry ewes in the mob, where there are more twin-bearing ewes in the mob, and in poor seasons where a feed shortage and/or high feeding costs have been predicted.
When the immediate threat of bush fire has abated and thoughts turn to rebuilding your grazing business, the how and how much of keeping your livestock alive and setting them up for the approaching growing season become important priorities in the list of things to do. With so much pasture and livestock infrastructure destroyed, confinement feeding of your sheep and cattle is the best choice to help you navigate the next few months.
**** PLEASE NO MORE DONATED ITEMS - SEE BELOW HOW YOU CAN BE OF MOST HELP ****
We have been absolutely blown away by all the people who have made contact wanting to donate and/or offer support to the Kangaroo Island bushfire affected region. We here at the Kangaroo Island Veterinary Clinic are committed to the treatment and survival of all animals; wildlife, companion animals, and livestock alike. The generosity in donating medical supplies, goods, and money to the wildlife has been in mammoth proportions, for which we thank you.
Selenium and Vitamin E are essential in sheep diets on Kangaroo Island, and work together to prevent and repair cell damage in the body. Deficiencies of either or both Selenium and Vitamin E can cause weaner illthrift, reduced wool production, reduced ewe fertility, reduced immune response and white muscle disease. Kangaroo Island soils are naturally deficient in Selenium whilst Vitamin E deficiency occurs mostly in weaner sheep grazing dry pastures.
Selenium is not essential for pasture growth but is taken from the soil by plants. Sheep consume selenium with the plants they eat. Vitamin E is predominantly found in green feed. Both selenium and Vitamin E are stored for a short period in the body, mainly in the liver, so a continual dietary supply of these nutrients ensures the best possible production.
Your ram team is a significant financial investment in your sheep enterprise. Rams contribute half of their lambs’ genetics but they are the main driver for genetic gains in your flock. Your rams represent an investment for the future development of your flock, therefore it is vital to maintain them in good health. This will ensure a good return on your investment.
To maximise performance, it is important to assess them for breeding health well in advance of joining. This allows you time to rectify and problems or purchase replacements if required. The first inspection should be around 12 weeks prior to joining.