Posted by: 347bennetrd | August 26, 2010

Scanning the Hoggets

Scanning is a yearly event – exactly like we go to the doctor to get an ultra-sound, we run all the sheep (and cows and deer actually) through the scanning process.  For the sheep this allows us to apportion feed to those that need it the most (ie with twins or triplets) and also to separate out the dries – those that are not pregnant.  For the main mob of ewes which we scanned three weeks ago, we were able to separate them into mature sheep multiples (twins and triplets), two-tooth multiples, singles, earlies, lates and dries.

We don’t automatically put the ram out to the hoggets, but this year they were in good shape so we went ahead.  We scanned them yesterday and here’s how it works…

Jock the scanner gets his set-up organised – a race that holds the sheep next to him with different exit gates that he can operate depending on how the sheep is pregnant.  He has a little metal framed cabin with all his equipment inside that he then covers with a tarpaulin to keep the light out.  Here he is, you can see the ultra-sound screen that is powered by a unit to the left, and the race is next to it on the right.

The sheep come up, get stopped in the race here;

and then Jock scans each hogget, reads the scan and drafts it accordingly;

That blue circle is the ultra-sound image, it looks like nothing, I can’t believe he can detect if there are 1,2 or 3 lambs inside…  Its quick too – Jock gets about 3,400 ewes done a day.


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