Ultrsound May Reduce Input Costs
Sheep producers can take advantage of modern medical technology to save input costs during the winter months. K-State Research and Extension sheep specialist Brian Faris says ultrasound technology is within reach of an increasing number of producers, to either rent or buy.
“Normally, we would never ask a producer to purchase an ultrasound machine; now, they do make a smaller handheld machine that's really good at picking up just pregnancy - you can actually tell singles, multiples, early on, and it's a handheld, you can velcro it to your hand, and then carry it with you, and I think these are in the neighborhood of $2,500. Something that maybe a registered producer might be interested in, especially our goat producers that may have a bit more of an interest in determining whether that ewe's bred or not.”
Faris says some veterinarians will ultrasound ewes, at an estimated rate of two to three dollars a head. It’s then up to the producer to leverage that information.
“How you can make the dollars work, hopefully at that point you would take and sell all of your open ewes, so you wouldn't have to be feeding them through the wintertime, but then you'd also be able to, hopefully, sort off those ewes that you were going to get just a single lamb or kid out of, and you wouldn't have to feed those as heavily through the winter, ultimately saving you some dollars in feed supplemental costs.”
You can find more information at your local extension office, or on our web site, at K-StateAgToday.org.