Lambing is looming
Your spring lambing sheep will soon need scanning for pregnancy
Once Christmas is over and done with, it won’t be long before spring lambing sheep flocks need to be pregnancy scanned. If you haven’t done this before, then I’d strongly recommend it. We usually speak to the contractor sometime between Christmas and new year, and plan a visit for around January 10. It’s not expensive – less than 50p / ewe – although understandably there may be a ‘minimum callout fee’ for very small flocks. Even so, I wouldn’t expect this to exceed £ 25. If possible our contractor arranges a whole day in this area to do all the smallholders’ flocks, so you might be able to organise something similar in your locality, by liaising with other small flock owners.
Knowing how many lambs each of your ewes is carrying enables you to feed and manage them according to their individual requirements. You won’t need to waste money giving expensive concentrates to barren sheep, and the savings made by more accurate feeding may be sufficient to cover the cost of the scanning.
The health of the flock at lambing time will be vastly improved due to you having been able to give appropriate nutrition to single, twin or triplet bearing ewes during late gestation. There’ll also be fewer difficult births (as there shouldn’t be any oversize singles) and fewer nonviable lambs (as there shouldn’t be any undersized twins or triplets).