Bearing prevention – what can be done now? You all know there is no silver bullet. However, a couple of things to think consider at this time of year may help your outcome in Spring. The known risk factors for bearings are; ewes putting on weight between mating and scanning. If your ewes need to gain some weight, the best time is before mating – for multiple reasons:
- This will improve the conception rate.
- It is easier to put weight on a non-pregnant animal, so she has reserves at lambing time.
- Holding body weight from mating to scanning will reduce the risk of bearings.
- More efficient use of feed. Another known risk is; shearing ewes in the first half of pregnancy. In a study carried out in Hawkes Bay and Southland in 2000/2001, shearing in the 3 months before mating or in the second half of pregnancy appeared to be protective.
Other known risk factors for bearings are;
- Having multiple lambs inside
- Ewes on steep paddocks pre-lamb
- Previously having a bearing
- Access to salt pre-lamb
- Feeding swedes late pregnancy We are happy to look at your farming system and see what tweaks can be made to help prevent the loss of bearing ewes. Start early!