|Recording Your Flock|
|What you need to know|
|What you need to do|
|What you want to achieve|
|Costs and Benefits|
2 - What you need to do
Before the tups go out with the ewes in the first year of recording, you should compile a register of all the ewes you are going to record. Put as much information as you can in this register. Note the individual ewe's age, whether she was born as a single, a twin or a multiple if possible and all the information you can gather on the tup she is to be mated with. Many people choose to put distance readable tags in their ewes as this can save a lot of
time and trouble at lambing, particularly if you are lambing outside.
Pregnacy scanning is advisable but not essential.
At lambing time each lamb has to be individually identified and correlated to its parents. (The Scottish Sheep Strategy will supply showerproof lambing diaries) Date of birth must be recorded, whether single, twin or multiple, also the number of lambs survivng from each parturition. The sex of the lamb must be noted down, and it is useful if you can weigh the lambs at birth. Again it is recognised that this is not always practical or possible but we would encourage people to try to do this. This information should be sent to whoever is doing the calculations for your particular flock as soon as possible after lambing is finished.
About nine or ten weeks after the start of lambing, the lambs need to be weighed, the weights recorded and once more the information sent to the organisation who is providing the sevice. If the lambs are run in different groups this should be noted and the information passed on to the service provider. This operation can often fit in with other management tasks, when you will be gathering the sheep for some other job.
The next time that you need to do anything is at weaning or when the lambs are averaging about 21 weeks of age. This is the time the lambs are weighed and an ultra sound scan is done to measure the muscle depth and the fat depth over the loin.
The gimmers which you are going to introduce to your flock should be weighed prior to being introduced to the tup for the first time.
Many breeders record most of this information for their own use at the moment so it should not be too onerous, particularly for pedigree flocks.