Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst ... 234
Results 91 to 117 of 117

Thread: Scanning Results................

  1. #91
    NZDan
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim W View Post
    Dan, explain the fert ratio please
    Simply scanning % diveded by Mating weight. (Lambs per Kg) A useful way to compare performance of flocks with differing ewe sizes.

  2. #92
    NZDan
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    I sell a mix of store and prime and breeding stock.
    Store lambs are the bottom end lambs at weaning, normally average 20kg live weight. These lambs are worth good money then.
    Surplus Ram lambs are sold prime in autum and early spring at 40 and 45kg. The get pushed pretty hard hence the slow growth, these rams would have averaged near enough to 30kg at weaning.The final sale rams are taken trough to sell as 2ths.

    Most ewe lambs are kept (only faulty ones culled at weaning and autum)and tupped any empties are culled after scanning in the spring, along with any that have developed faults since weaning/mating.

    Bear in mind though that I'm in the ram breeding game so I don't feed or look after my sheep as well as I would if I was producing prime lambs. Pressure needs to be on to sort out the good ,uns and the bad 'uns.

    All Romney lambs are sold at weaning this is simply a trading mob as I've to double ewe number this year.

    Campbells are a conservation project, very unquie sheep. Tough as nails.

  3. #93
    Global Ovine
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    NZDan's scanning:mating weight ratio is good for a quick assessment of different genetics under the same environment, or the same genetics under different environments (management).
    The latter being farmers who source tups to breed replacements from the same breeder but have very different lambing %. This ratio gives an opportunity to look at the first measure of reproduction that a farmer has in the ewes so problems holding some farmers' production back can be investigated.

    However it does not look at the big picture which is the weight of saleable lamb from these ewes. It is at this point that ewes can change ranking in "efficiency" as lamb mortality, mothering ability (including milking ability) and the ability of the lamb to utilise pasture itself once its' rumen develops.

    Small and high ovulating ewes dominate the scanning ratio ranks, such as Dan's Finns. Large milky ewes mated to a large terminal breed (such as our Poll Dorset x Texel ewes mated to Charollais) dominate the growth of lamb produced per day per ewe.

    The combination of both reflects the true monetary worth of a system.
    In a large production and financial benchmarking programme covering hundreds of southern NZ farmers during the mid 1990s-2004 the farmers with high scanning (170-200%) ewes under 70 kgs mating with at least 30% of the flock to Terminal breeds had the most kgs of lamb meat grown per day from the ewes employed. Breed was somewhat irrelevant as each breed and cross was represented at all levels. The key drivers which stood out were;


    1. Top lamb producers bought their tups from breeders with a long history of performance recording for traits for which they got paid.
    2. All were very good managers of pasture quality.
    3. All slaughtered their lambs in short intervals (2-3 weeks apart) as soon as they reached target weights.
    4. Every class of country was represented from hard hill/mountain to mixed arable (as this did not compare lamb carcass weight per hectare which would only favour strong soils and gentle topography).

  4. #94
    Creedmoor1
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    2012 scanning results:
    Mixed age ewes 263.2% @ 77.2 kg; Dan's "fert ratio" 3.41
    2 tooths 249% @ 70.7 kg; 3.43
    Hoggets 166.7% @ 49.5 kg; 3.37

    Much bigger sheep but then we're looking for great growth to weaning and finishing as soon as possible. Last year ewes and 2 tooths together did 231% (tailed over mated); all surplus lambs finished on grass at average 19.8 kg carcass; 40% killed at or before weaning 23 Dec from lambing starting end of Aug.

    Ewe size is a remarkably poor indicator of efficiency by itself. Just completed emissions calculations with our meat company and have extremely low methane output. Methane is driven by feed use; we have high meat output per kg feed eaten despite ewe size. This is due to ewe performance as only 50% of feed eaten by our ewes goes to maintenance; 50% is pregnancy and lactation. Lambs with genes for size and growth then grow fast and make best use of limited feed. Key to production off small dryland farm.

  5. #95
    Global Ovine
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by Creedmoor1 View Post
    2012 scanning results:
    Mixed age ewes 263.2% @ 77.2 kg; Dan's "fert ratio" 3.41
    2 tooths 249% @ 70.7 kg; 3.43
    Hoggets 166.7% @ 49.5 kg; 3.37

    Much bigger sheep but then we're looking for great growth to weaning and finishing as soon as possible. Last year ewes and 2 tooths together did 231% (tailed over mated); all surplus lambs finished on grass at average 19.8 kg carcass; 40% killed at or before weaning 23 Dec from lambing starting end of Aug.

    Ewe size is a remarkably poor indicator of efficiency by itself. Just completed emissions calculations with our meat company and have extremely low methane output. Methane is driven by feed use; we have high meat output per kg feed eaten despite ewe size. This is due to ewe performance as only 50% of feed eaten by our ewes goes to maintenance; 50% is pregnancy and lactation. Lambs with genes for size and growth then grow fast and make best use of limited feed. Key to production off small dryland farm.
    Your post, flock performance and the tools you have used to assess your sheep farming business can only be described as BRILLIANT.
    However I feel that you are so far ahead of many UK sheep farmers that their eyes may glaze over rather than appreciate the profit implications of your combo of genetics and pasture management as most remain hung-up on breed differences as if this is the only driver of profit.

    The management answers you have come up with on your farm are site specific, but the questions you would have addressed are universal to all sheep farmers.
    These results should be held up as an example of what can be achieved in a pastoral sheep system.
    To significantly improve Creedmoor's results would need major changes in species' biology, both sheep and pasture components, and that is a long way off.

  6. #96
    Frances
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by Global Ovine View Post
    Your post, flock performance and the tools you have used to assess your sheep farming business can only be described as BRILLIANT.
    +1

  7. #97
    Frances
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Is the concept of 'fertility ratio' widely used in NZ or is it something developed specifically by NZ Dan?

    I can see how it has it's limitations in terms of overall efficiency but would of thought it was a good way of highlighting flocks/groups of ewes with with high bodyweights but low scanning %

  8. #98
    NZDan
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by Frances View Post
    Is the concept of 'fertility ratio' widely used in NZ or is it something developed specifically by NZ Dan?

    I can see how it has it's limitations in terms of overall efficiency but would of thought it was a good way of highlighting flocks/groups of ewes with with high bodyweights but low scanning %
    Its used widely but as GO says it is simply a starting point. Mine and Creedmores ewes are at the top end. Infact nearly every time I've seen it used its always been 2.something. I aim to target ewes weaning thier own body weight at 13week weaning. That means a 60kg ewe weaning 180% lambs averaging 34kg. To wean 180% at that ewe size needs a scanning of ~200%. if they only scann 180% and wean 160% then lamb weights need to be38kg, a big ask for a 60kg ewe.

    You are right about the high weight low % ewes its brilliant for that.

  9. #99
    NZDan
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    ps. Creedmores results are noth short of outstanding.

  10. #100
    Poorbuthappy
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by Frances View Post
    +1
    +2

    I have posted before that I find Creedmoor's system really interesting as it holds out an alternative to those lowland intensive farmers over here who say the NZ extensive sheep farming system is not relevant/ wouldn't work in their circumstances.

    Well done Creedmoor

  11. #101
    Creedmoor1
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Thank you for the many kind comments... bit humbling really. I think we have been hugely blessed to encounter some of the most forward-thinking sheep breeders in NZ at a time when we could make use of their inputs.

    I can't think of anything we do that is particularly "out there" (heavy use of lamb covers, perhaps). Mostly we try to use every bit of "best management practice" we can lay our hands on and develop our own from first principles if need be. We feed our sheep better than most and firmly believe "you can't starve a profit out of them!" Our management is no secret and we hope to hold a sheep performance nutters' workshop later this year. Any of you who get to this side of the world are most welcome to check us out. (I plan to call on Dan one day - his breed variety is staggering!)

    Of course, 2012 results are pure potential right now. We haven't lost a ewe since mating (touch wood) but have just had a third of our annual rainfall in 16 days . Vaccinated just in time before the wet but drafting for set stocking is a mission given the mud. Supposed to rain again from tomorrow night so will be hard out from first light Sunday!

  12. #102
    Jackson4
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    How do you mean feed them well creed? lower stocking rates or concentrates?

  13. #103
    johnny400
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by Creedmoor1 View Post
    2012 scanning results:
    Mixed age ewes 263.2% @ 77.2 kg; Dan's "fert ratio" 3.41
    2 tooths 249% @ 70.7 kg; 3.43
    Hoggets 166.7% @ 49.5 kg; 3.37

    Much bigger sheep but then we're looking for great growth to weaning and finishing as soon as possible. Last year ewes and 2 tooths together did 231% (tailed over mated); all surplus lambs finished on grass at average 19.8 kg carcass; 40% killed at or before weaning 23 Dec from lambing starting end of Aug.

    Ewe size is a remarkably poor indicator of efficiency by itself. Just completed emissions calculations with our meat company and have extremely low methane output. Methane is driven by feed use; we have high meat output per kg feed eaten despite ewe size. This is due to ewe performance as only 50% of feed eaten by our ewes goes to maintenance; 50% is pregnancy and lactation. Lambs with genes for size and growth then grow fast and make best use of limited feed. Key to production off small dryland farm.

    Impressive, How many ewes do you run?

  14. #104
    Creedmoor1
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson4 View Post
    How do you mean feed them well creed? lower stocking rates or concentrates?
    Lambs all pasture. Ewes may get lucerne hay in winter if necessary and barley to triplets+ in late pregnancy. Quads and two tooth triplets getting 180g/hd/day now, due from 27th.

    We ate about 6300kgDM/ha last year but some years wouldn't grow anything like that. 37% of feed went into cattle, which definitely contribute to sheep performance. Just selling some local trade heifers that have grown 0.7kg/day over winter on grass, baleage and a protein block.

    Stocking rate in ewes/ha lower than neighbours but probably eating as much. Most neighbours much lower cattle proportion.

  15. #105
    Creedmoor1
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny400 View Post
    Impressive, How many ewes do you run?
    We are only small. 68ha of dryland, normal rainfall around 520mm. This year lambing 200 ewes and 90 hoggets. Needed extra numbers so kept more ewe lambs for new lease area, hence odd age structure! Cheaper than buying old ewes and have a young sheep to run on. 21 cows calving, plus yearlings bred last year and finishing cattle. Most neighbours would run a lot less cattle and up the sheep but cattle are handy to trade if it goes dry!

  16. #106
    clover
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by Creedmoor1 View Post
    We are only small. 68ha of dryland, normal rainfall around 520mm. This year lambing 200 ewes and 90 hoggets. Needed extra numbers so kept more ewe lambs for new lease area, hence odd age structure! Cheaper than buying old ewes and have a young sheep to run on. 21 cows calving, plus yearlings bred last year and finishing cattle. Most neighbours would run a lot less cattle and up the sheep but cattle are handy to trade if it goes dry!
    You are taking a different approach to your breeding than your large-scale,I hesitate to use the term "commercial" ,neighbours.If you were willing and able to commit yourself full-time to sheep farming,and if you had use of sufficient neighbouring land,how many ewes could you run without compromising on performance?

  17. #107
    johnny400
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by clover View Post
    You are taking a different approach to your breeding than your large-scale,I hesitate to use the term "commercial" ,neighbours.If you were willing and able to commit yourself full-time to sheep farming,and if you had use of sufficient neighbouring land,how many ewes could you run without compromising on performance?
    This was going to be my next question too.

    Could this performance be kept with 2000/3000+ ewes? I may have missed this in earlier posts, but what breed are they Creedmore?

  18. #108
    Creedmoor1
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    I reckon we could probably handle 2000 lambing females (including hoggets) if both of us went full time and we had a short term lambing shepherd, if one was available. Without the labour input lamb deaths would climb, probably to more like 15%. Regardless of what ram breeders from NZ will claim, triplets are more prone to dystocia due to traffic issues. I suspect it is especially so when birth weights are good as they have less space to manoeuvre. I would rather lamb a ewe and have her rear three lambs than settle for two; the extras would more than pay for the labour.

    Ewes began as mix of Coopworth, East Friesian and Finn. Last three age classes are all sired by 'Greeline' - approx 1/3 Texel, 1/3 EF and 1/3 Coopworth. Thought we might drop lambing percentage with this but pick up muscle. Have lost nothing. Two tooths set records last two years. The oldest Greeline crosses are carrying 275%!!

  19. #109
    JD_Kid
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    i'd be keen on coming down sure we are poles apart in some areas but always willing to learn something new might pick up some thing of use for us

  20. #110
    Creedmoor1
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    High time we caught up, JD. Absolutely agree about learning something from people doing wildly different things. And I bet there are plenty of things we both chase, like good feet, mothering ability.

  21. #111
    JD_Kid
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    for sure .. missed a trick last year there was a field day on lamb finshing just down the road on one of ludies places would have been intresting to see how our lambs go

  22. #112
    Global Ovine
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny400 View Post
    This was going to be my next question too.

    Could this performance be kept with 2000/3000+ ewes? I may have missed this in earlier posts, but what breed are they Creedmore?
    There are NZ farmers running this number of ewes at high levels of lambing % and weight of lambs sold prime and/or retained for breeding. But not quite at this level of lambing %. As % goes up the challenges confronting both the flock and the management changes. This due to the changing profile of ewes with different litter sizes, ie at 150% scanning or born half of the ewes have twins, twinning ewes max out at 165% then get replaced by triplets. The incidence of triplets is only occasional upto 160% but progress steadily thereafter. Quads start rising rapidly at the expense of triplets from 110% onwards. Singles producing ewes reduce to about 12% and twins to mid twenties even at Creedmoor's high %.
    Creedmoor is spot on the case when he says "traffic" is the problem with trips and quads....birth presentation is vital for a quick and successful outcome. Cause of loss changes as the challenge changes. Tangled up lambs and mismothering due to the huge challenge of keeping the litter together amoung other lambing ewes with young litters is very different to ewes lambing 160%. Therefore outdoor lambing at Creedmoor's level requires a higher labour requirement for careful observation and intervention when needed. The incidence of lambs born under 3.5 kgs birth weight means a higher % of lambs are very vulnerable to exposure/starvation as their brown fat reserves are limited.
    I suggest that due to the labour demand at lambing, farmers with genetics capable of Creedmoors tremendous performance would hold their ewes back at mating to achieve a flock lambing around 200% which eliminates nearly all quads and has around 15% of ewes born as triplets. (Which is exactly what I did for 2 decades with improved Romneys).
    UK farmers should take note of the lamb growth performance Creedmoor achieves when more than half of his lambs are reared as triplets and some quads. These pasture management skills have to be a refined version of what many good NZ farmers use and are definitely transportable to the UK.

    Lamb losses as a % of scanning averages 18-22% in NZ. Losses of lambs born about 14%. Although losses rise as lambing % increases, the slope is very low as farmers put more resources into harvesting a bigger lamb crop. To have a flock performing at very high levels it would have to be run intensively, as the challenges are so different to those flocks made up of single and twinning ewes.

  23. #113
    Creedmoor1
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Wow, lots of good stuff GO. Some things I'd like to comment on from our experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Global Ovine View Post
    As % goes up the challenges confronting both the flock and the management changes. This due to the changing profile of ewes with different litter sizes, ie at 150% scanning or born half of the ewes have twins, twinning ewes max out at 165% then get replaced by triplets. The incidence of triplets is only occasional upto 160% but progress steadily thereafter. Quads start rising rapidly at the expense of triplets from 110% onwards. Singles producing ewes reduce to about 12% and twins to mid twenties even at Creedmoor's high %.


    Our pattern isn't quite what the researchers predict. Expanding on this year's results:
    Mixed age ewes 263.2% = made up of 2% dry, 5% singles, 29% twins, 55% triplets and 9% quads.
    Two tooths 249.0% = nil dry, nil singles( ), 53% twins, 45% triplets, 2% quads.

    The 2 tooth percentage = about the ultimate sheep for us! We have a good system for mothering quads onto singles but the mixed age ewes don't have as enough singles for the job. We have kept the odd recidivist single-bearing ewe who mothers on well!

    Tangled up lambs and mismothering due to the huge challenge of keeping the litter together amoung other lambing ewes with young litters is very different to ewes lambing 160%. Therefore outdoor lambing at Creedmoor's level requires a higher labour requirement for careful observation and intervention when needed. The incidence of lambs born under 3.5 kgs birth weight means a higher % of lambs are very vulnerable to exposure/starvation as their brown fat reserves are limited.


    A good eye for trouble can save a lot of unnecessary deaths. Mismothering is minimal but the ewes are exceptionally good counters. It is essential that our ewes "practice" rearing as hoggets given that nearly half may have triplets as two tooths. We are DNA testing rams for cold tolerance genes which affect brown fat utilisation (and are also implicated in better liveweight gains ).

    Lamb losses as a % of scanning averages 18-22% in NZ. Losses of lambs born about 14%. Although losses rise as lambing % increases, the slope is very low as farmers put more resources into harvesting a bigger lamb crop. To have a flock performing at very high levels it would have to be run intensively, as the challenges are so different to those flocks made up of single and twinning ewes.


    Last year our losses from scanning to tailing were 9.09% of lambs scanned in ewes and 6.86% of lambs scanned in hoggets; includes losses of any kind including abortions and lambs in ewes that died before lambing (actually, none did last year!). We had probably the kindest weather ever and also reared some shed lambs that would otherwise have been losses. Expect higher losses this year after more than 200 mm rain in last 22 days . Our "typical" losses scanning to tailing = 12 to 13% so will be interesting to see how we do.

  24. #114
    johnny400
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Very interesting. Next time i visiting family in NZ going to try look some of you guys up.
    Hope lambing goes well for you kiwis.

  25. #115
    JD_Kid
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    yea hope fully it goes well

    still to wet to drench cap and vax ewes here raining again so getting close to 14-15 inchs of rain in the past few weeks

    feed back from guys inland the rain has not be doing a lot of damage as it's still warm cold wind as well would have been high loses

    had a fence pokeing #@$^@$&&&@$%#$^^$%&@$ of a ram lamb get in to our place a month before our rams went out so have a few lambs on the ground ..

    hope fully the ewes so far are not setting the trend about 125% as a rough guess bit lower than last year if thats the case i think once the ewes hit the right lambing dates the % maybe higher

  26. #116
    clover
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    Quote Originally Posted by JD_Kid View Post
    yea hope fully it goes well

    still to wet to drench cap and vax ewes here raining again so getting close to 14-15 inchs of rain in the past few weeks

    feed back from guys inland the rain has not be doing a lot of damage as it's still warm cold wind as well would have been high loses

    had a fence pokeing #@$^@$&&&@$%#$^^$%&@$ of a ram lamb get in to our place a month before our rams went out so have a few lambs on the ground ..

    hope fully the ewes so far are not setting the trend about 125% as a rough guess bit lower than last year if thats the case i think once the ewes hit the right lambing dates the % maybe higher
    Poorer results from accidental breeding kind of suggest that your management is justified.

  27. #117
    JD_Kid
    Guest

    Re: Scanning Results................

    yea clover it makes it hard maybe the same as the guys in the hills a run away ram lamb getting across the ewes
    mind you i got him with a wee copper coloured dog by speer out of brno fixed the prob
    we have about 10 Km's of boundry so hard to keep an eye on some things

    ewes still in big mobs of over a 1000 so hard to get early lambs out but getting most in to other paddocks and will tail them early maybe a twin ear mark so we don't keep any of the off spring

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •