5-Star ewes scanning with a higher litter size

5-Star ewes scanning with a higher litter size

As the recording of pregnancy scanning results is now part of the Data Quality Index (DQI), pedigree breeders who have joined the LambPlus performance recording program  for 2021 have been uploading their results over the past 6 weeks. To date just over 6.5k pregnancy records have been uploaded to the database and the results are fascinating.

What we are seeing is that the 5-Star Replacement ewes have scanned carrying a higher litter size than all other ewes, especially the 1-Star ewes with the difference being 27%.

The numbers of ewes in each star rating are as follows: 1-Star – 1652, 2-Star – 1125, 3-Star – 1067, 4-Star – 1139 & 5-Star – 1525.

To put these numbers above into context, if we take 100 5-Star ewes scanning 169% versus 100 1-Star ewes scanning 142%, we end up with a difference of 27 more lambs for the 5-Star ewes.

To summarise, 5-Star replacement ewes are more prolific and will produce more lambs on average. The fact that 5-Star ewes will produce more lambs on average than 1-Star ewes will play a central role in achieving the latest target set out in the Teagasc 2027 Sectoral Road Map for Sheep, to  increase the No. of Lambs reared per ewe from the current level of 1.39 to 1.55 by 2027, through the use of available genetics and management practices.