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Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation
Pregnancy Scanning and Training Workshop Final Report
Tuesday 27th, Wednesday 28th February and Thursday 1st March
Run by Advanced Farm Systems. Philip & Sally Schoeffel
The aim of Pregnancy Scanning workshops was to increase the uptake of famers undertaking pregnancy scanning of ewes to enable better flock management decisions. Pregnancy scanning has become an important tool in managing reproductive performance in ewe flocks. It enables producers to make informed management decisions that will improve productivity and profitability of their sheep enterprise
Philip Schoeffel, Advanced Farm Systems, Coffs Harbour NSW has held Livestock Ultra Sound Workshops for Breeders in the Eastern States for over ten years. Philip and his partner Sally teach farmers the basic principles about ultrasound scanning in sheep and cattle, why it is important for production and profitability, how it is undertaken using contractors or how farmers can become trained to scan their own livestock.
Three workshops were held at Minnipa, Cowell and Ungarra on properties with the farmers providing about 30 sheep to scan.
The program for each day included:-
Morning session (9am-12pm) – Information session from Philip Schoeffel, with input from Jess Crettenden as to why pregnancy scanning is important, benefits to the sheep enterprise, productivity and profitability increase, managing resources etc.
Afternoon session (1pm-5pm) demonstration/training of ultrasound pregnancy scanning with ewes combining practical and theory sessions in the yards and shed.
Three workshops were held across Eyre Peninsula with a total of 30 people (including 4 women) attending the events.
At the conclusion of each workshop participants were asked to complete an evaluation form.
Twenty-four forms were returned with the following information provided. Participants ranged in age from 15- 25 (3) to over 65 (1) with the majority in the age range 26 – 35 (7). There was six (6) in the 46-55 age range, four (4) in the 36-45 age group and three (3) in the 56-65.
The farmers were ask for some information about their farming business. They indicated that, collectively they managed over 65,000 ha with the largest being 8,000 ha, ten properties were between 2,000 – 3,000ha, eight were below 2,000 ha and the remaining 6 properties were over 4,000 ha.
Collectively they managed 43,405 sheep of which 28,140 were ewes. The participants sold 1,277 bales of wool and 14,780 lambs last year.
At the conclusion of the workshops, participants were asked what information was most useful to them and their business.
Feedback was very positive with many respondents having the same or similar responses. Below is a summary of the responses received:-
Information on % of lambs increases, productivity potential and understanding the benefits of identifying multiples and early joiners to increase profits and ease of management
Price of the equipment and the availability of technology
How the scanning equipment worked and being able to recognize lambs on the screen
Hand on experience, learning how to scan and information about the scanner
Different applications for everyone
Pleasant manner the workshop was presented and the information was good
Ease of operations, and able to have hands on experience with the equipment
Getting to try scanning yourself, the type of equipment used and the benefits of scanning ewes
Discussion on identifying singles and twins and what technology can do for birth rates
Getting together with other farmers and learning how to get more out of your sheep
Importance of timing when scanning and when to take the ram out for early pregnancy
Scanning in a shed
Identifying singles and twin – good to know the options for the flock after scanning.
The possibility of more profit and the ability to manage better
Hand on testing was fabulous, learning about specific machine rather than the “range” of ultrasound machines.
Philip Schoeffel, Advanced Farm Systems, instructing participants as they practice scanning ewes.
All participants said they would implement some changes as a result of the workshop. They identified the following activities:-
Getting ewes in good condition before putting the rams in
Start scanning for wet and dry at least (2)
Will definitely get ewes pregnancy tested
Scan every year after joining (5)
Look into scanning and manage flock for efficiently, adjusting nutrition accordingly (3)
Scan multiples, possibly identify early joiners (2)
Look into Pregnancy Scanning with maybe owning own gear in future
I may scan ewes to take out dry ones and sell (2)
Looking at getting own scanner to scan when removing rams plus later
Test during crutching
Aim to get rid of baron sheep and improve lambing percentage
Treat singles and twins differently.
In conjunction with Dramiński we are travelling to New Zealand in June in order to establish a Distributor(s) for the New Zealand Market. Our visit will coincide with the Mystery Creek Field Days at Hamilton from the 14th to the 17th of June.
Any New Zealand Company’s or Individuals interested please contact Philip Schoeffel on 0400 403883 or email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can meet at the International Visitors Centre in the main pavilion. Focus will be Draminski Dog Breeding Equipment , Dramiński Cattle and Sheep Breeding Equipment and Grain and Hay Moisture Meters. Distribution can be separated into the above categories of interest or all together if preferred.
It’s with pleasure I can now advise that the date and location of our first Ultrasound Workshop, on how to use Ultrasound Equipment to determine pregnancy, for private or commercial use. We have been following closely the overseas trends, independent operators are offering a scanning service to dog breeders and developing a side business with excellent add on income potential.
The workshop will be held on Monday the 20th of March at the Bill Spilstead Canine Complex 44 Luddenham Rd Orchard Hills NSW.
The workshop will run for approximately 4 hours.
· 12.30 – 1pm question time.
Ben Watts from Bralca , see www.bralca.com , will be running the workshop. Ben is an independent Training Coordinator who runs his own Training Company bringing technology to all Breeders. Ben has been running regular ultrasound workshops for the agricultural industry all over Australia for the past ten years. We wish to now duplicate this success and offer this program to Canine Breeders. Ben has over 20 years of experience in the Animal Breeding Industry combined with an Agricultural Master’s Degree with a focus on Animal Reproduction. Our Company as the importer and distributor of the equipment will be assisting to ensure the Workshop will run smoothly.
“BRALCA Leading the way for the next generation” ”Facing the challenges of modern day agriculture head on!”
Those of you based in Sydney or surrounding areas could you please indicate if you would be able to bring along a pregnant and/or possibly pregnant bitch, so we can demonstrate using the equipment and the recognition of the images achieved with Ultra Sound. The idea is to have a hands on workshop where by the end of the session you will be able to distinguish between pregnant and not pregnant animals.
We will have a range of Pregnancy Scanners and Detectors with us along with some of our other famous Canine Breeding Equipment like the Canine Ovulation Detector.
Cost for the morning is $80 a head
We are limiting the numbers so everyone has an opportunity to use the equipment hence early confirmation would be appreciated so we can lock in the Training Coordinator and the venue. Pregnancy Detectors range from $655 through to Ultra Sound Image Scanners at $1980 through to $9,400 and everything in between. We look forward to hearing from you and receiving confirmation of your attendance.
· Workshops in Melbourne and Queensland will hopefully follow as numbers build. If you are interested in one of those please drop me an email with your details and I will keep you up dated
We have our next Ultra Sound Workshop due to be held on the 18th and 19th of March at Hurlstone Agricultural High School Roy Watts Road at Glenfield . This is a two day workshop hands on with sheep and cattle . We currently have spots available, to book phone Philip on 0400 403 883