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Overview of reproduction

Terms
Benchmarks
Sheep

Introduction

Efficient and profitable sheep production relies on healthy ewes and rams, matched with sound management decisions. In this module, the key points relating to the sheep’s reproduction and factors affecting these management decisions are covered. Records should be kept so that benchmarks can be evaluated, productivity improvement assessed and as an aid in problem solving.

Term Definition Comment
Ram ratio (percentage) Ratio of number of rams to number of ewes in mob Varies from 1:100 (1%+1) up to 3:100 (3%) or more
Conception rate (pregnancy rate) Number of ewes pregnant/number of ewes joined Benchmark is 91% over a 5 week joining period
Scanning percentage Number of foetuses scanned/number of ewes joined Varies depending on number of multiples
Lambing percentage Number of lambs born/number of ewes joined Should be calculated separately for single and twin mobs
Marking percentage Number of lambs marked/number of ewes joined
Weaning percentage Number of lambs weaned/number of ewes joined

Table 1: Summary of key indicators for evaluating sheep reproductive performance

Further Reading

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