Sheep Ireland are currently winding down the muscle and fat ultrasound scanning of our LambPlus flocks for the 2018 season. There is now under 20 flocks left to scan from flocks that expressed interest in scanning this year. Sheep Ireland are very happy with the overall average age of the lambs scanned this year with the recommended scanning age being 150 days old, the average scanning age this year was 152 days across all breeds, meaning that flocks we visited at the best time to achieve the best results for the breeders. The majority of flocks left are late lambing flocks. Flocks were prioritized based on their median lambing date to ensure the highest percentage of lambs were within the recommended bracket, and the flocks were scanned in this order where possible. Ideally lambs should weigh in excess of 35 kilograms in order to ensure there is enough variation in the fat measurements which is needed to maximize the benefit of the process. Sheep Ireland are currently conducting research into using a new method for collecting these measurements that will hopefully allow muscle and fat scanning to take place at lower weights next year and with greater accuracy.
As can be seen in the below table, an outline of the average scanning age of lambs by each individual breed. Breeds such as Rouge de l’Ouest, Vendeens, Suffolk’s and Charollais tend to be earlier lambing breeds and with an increase in the number of breeders expressing interest to scan, there were more early flocks for our scanners to get to. The Texel breed are then slightly under the 150 days due to accommodating demand on a high volume of Texel’s breeders expressing interest to scan prior to the Texel Premier Sale Catalogue which was ran last week. Sheep Ireland’s M&F scanning technicians have worked extremely hard to accommodate breeders all over the country with a suitable date as well as meeting the target scanning age of all lambs.
Average age of lambs when being Muscle & Fat Scanned in 2018
|Breeds||Average Age of Lambs in 2018|
|Rouge de l'Ouest||157|
|Total Average Across all Breeds||152|