Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pregnancy Scanning Ewes

With a late start to the season it becomes important for farmers to manage their precious feed resources. One way to do this is to ensure only the most valuable ewes - those which are going to produce a lamb - receive the best nutrition. To this end we had our sheep pregnancy tested on Tuesday.
A team of workers and dogs push the sheep through a race into the scanning crate.
Pregnancy scanning is carried out by ultrasound, and the operator separates the non pregnant ewes through a drafting gate.

Nan filling the yards with sheep.

Yesterday Nan Lloyd ( came over with some of her dogs, to help Roger keep the ewes up to the guy who was doing the scanning. A couple of good dogs can make a big difference to the flow of the sheep. We also had a friend's son, a young school-leaver, helping get the ewes into the scanning crate (that's the sort of thing I used to do before children and before photography...), and everything went quite smoothly. Thanks Nan and Fraser!

Mike from Tim Stevenson's Sheep Services came to do the ultrasound scanning. He is from New Zealand (what we call a "Kiwi"), so he has had a lot of experience with a lot of sheep, and he worked really quickly. And he was quite photogenic, but he was a bit worried the photos were to go into a glossy women's magazine!! Sorry Mike, you're not that famous, but I'm sure the three followers of my blog will appreciate your photos.

P.S. Sorry about the quality of the photos. I have a new computer and I didn't transfer the presets for the photo editing from my old computer. Now that I see them here they are far too dark.

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