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Scanning Ewes

1 February 2017

Pregnancy scanning ewes is a simple, cost effective management tool that is grossly underused by the sheep sector.  It offers numerous benefits and cost savings that far outweigh the cost of the procedure.

Scanning should be undertaken 70-100 days from the day the tup was introduced to the flock.  Ewes should not have a full rumen and should ideally be in a yard or track for a few hours prior to scanning.  Benefits of scanning include the following:

Benefits of Scanning Ewes

  • Identify and separate dry ewes from the flock
  • Identify which ewes are carrying multiples and manage accordingly
  • Management efficiency – feeding only ewes requiring feed and stocking of pens
  • Marketing barren ewes when prices are favourable
  • Prevent metabolic disorders e.g. twin lamb through tailored feeding/lambs carried
  • Ease of fostering lambs e.g. house singles and triplets allowing for wet twinning when ewes lamb compactly
  • The management knowledge to benchmark your flock and see how your performing e.g. scanning %, scanning to lambing losses, scanning to weaning losses, etc.

Kirsten Williams,

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