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Sheep Scanning

This is the first time we've had our sheep scanned at Marlfield Farm!

This year we were able to find someone who would come and scan our sheep to see how many (if any) lambs they have inside them for this year's lambing. We've had difficulty in the past finding someone willing to come and scan so we were pleased we could find somebody this year.

We had slight technical delays due to lack of cables but once we got on with the scanning it all went quite smoothly! Only one sheep escaped: she was obviously keen to get back outdoors and saw her opportunity when the gate was closing. We had to keep the sheep indoors for 24 hours before the scanning without food to make it easier for the scanner to pick up how many lambs there were.

The results of the scan were good! We have 5 singles (marked by a blue line down their back), 14 twins (red line) and 4 triplets (green line) meaning that our production percentage is 194%. The ideal target is 200% with as many of the mothers having twins.

The purpose of scanning the sheep for lamb numbers is so we can manage their diet as best we can in the later stages of their pregnancy: those mothers with only singles need no additional food whilst those with triplets need a little more. Both underfeeding and overfeeding the sheep can cause complications so by scanning our sheep we can reduce the chances of any complications. Overfeed a mother with a single and the lamb will be huge and will probably be very difficult to lamb. Underfeed a mother and you run the risk of potential twin lamb disease (pregnancy ketosis).

Comments

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That's great news Dan. Well worth doing! Did you get a photo of any of the scans?

Great percentage of lambs and only four little lambs might need to find a new mother as they will be a triplet. It was brilliant to be able to watch the scanning live - thanks for letting all us Lambwatchers watch via the webcam. It will be interesting to look out for all the different coloured stripes on the sheep and know how many lambs are expected.

I think it's brilliant !,,,at least the one's having more than two can have a close eye kept on them,in case of complications !

Sorry about this blog post disappearing.... My fault! I've recovered it (but had to retype it). I've added a bit more detail about why we scan our sheep.

Awesome!! Dan. Check back again soon!

Hi all, quick update on this! Well now that all the sheep have lambed who were scanned, I can reveal the results! Unfortunately, the scanner wasn't as accurate as we had hoped, 30% of the sheep lambed differently than the scanner had picked up, which made some elements more frustrating than they would have been had we not scanned them. However, the final results of our lambing is 4 singles, 13 twins and 5 triplets. Keep an eye out for them running around the LambWatch field!