EID And Precision Sheep Management In A Meat Flock
EID tags provide massive benefits for all sheep farmers, including those with meat flocks. Whether it’s recording weights, tracking pregnancy status, or getting carcass feedback, this technology provides accurate data with a much higher level of efficiency.
Here are some of the ways EID tags can be used in a meat flock, combining EID tags with a high quality pedigree and performance recording software like BreedELITE Sheep can simplify the whole process.
Scan a mob of sheep in a given area to instantly determine which animals are where. With EID tags and an Auto Drafter like the BreedELITE Smart Drafter you’re also able to determine how many sheep are there, sort them on any stored information, their weight distribution, and other important data.
Recording And Tracking Weights
Accurately tracking weights over time allows you to predict the future weights of your animals, based on past weight gains. For example, you can draft sheep based on predicted weight by a certain date, which allows you to ration sheep precisely and efficiently.
This also provides a number of benefits when it comes to marketing, as it means you can start planning your sales and turnoff times based on the data you’ve collected.
Pregnancy And Rearing Status
EID tags make it easy to keep track of the pregnancy status of all your animals. You can also use them to track which animals were successfully able to rear lambs. Using this data you can more accurately assess your best and worst performers. Below is an example of the type of data you’re able to track.
The y-axis is kilograms of lamb weaned and the x-axis is individual ewes.
As you can see, there are a few different tiers. Around the 40 kg mark are all the ewes that gave birth to singles. Then we see another tier around 70 kg, marking the ewes that gave birth to twins. And then the outliers at the top are the ewes that gave birth to triplets.
The value of a ewe in a meat flock is primarily based on their ability to reproduce. So, being able to track maternal performance is critical. New technology, such as Pedigree Matchmaker and transponders, allow you to match lambs to dams. This gives you the ability to create a maternal weight score for each ewe and rank them according to the amount of live weight they produce each year.
By collecting data using EID tags you’re able to see which bloodlines are performing well, as well as which bloodlines are delivering below average results. This will allow you to make better decisions at ram buying time.
Ram Selection And Allocation
Easily segregate and allocate your rams to different ewes based on the data you collect to ensure a higher-performing flock for years to come.
Selection And Culling
With accurate data around weight and maternal performance, and the feedback you receive from your carcasses, you’re able to make better decisions regarding selection and culling. This helps your flock improve quicker which will only benefit your business.
EID tags don’t just provide benefits while your animals are alive. They also give you valuable data after they’ve been slaughtered. EID tracking allows you to receive carcass feedback, which you can compare to your live data in order to make more informed sheep management decisions moving forward.
Potential Future Uses
EID tags have revolutionised sheep farming, but there are still more ways they can help improve the industry. In addition to the uses we’ve already discussed, there are some other future applications for them that could provide even more benefits. These include:
- Estimating condition scores based on a live weight allowing more informed management decisions
- Parasite control
- Treatment history
- Tying automated feeding systems to individual EIDs
- Automated dosing
With so many advantages to using EID tags to track performance in meat flocks, sheep farmers would be wise to adopt this technology if they haven’t already. With more accurate data, and less time spent manually recording data, EID tags will provide a massive boost to any business.
To find out how to take advantage of EID and data in your meat flock book in a sheep technology meeting today.