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Dairy or/and meat sheep: meat /dairy

Level of solution: practical

Aim: To schedule an ultrasound pregnancy scanning protocol and exploit the results  


  • Ultrasound pregnancy scanning should be done between approximately 50-60 days of pregnancy (50-60 days after ram removal) no later than 90 days.
  • It is used to detect pregnancy and to determine the number of lambs being carried (single, twins, triplet…) and the barren ewes.
    • Ewes with twins or triplets should be managed differently (better fields/grazing, housed in sheds, etc.) than single ewe.
    • Barren ewes should be tested for disease/infection and eventually culled to reduce feed requirements.
    • Alternatively, the barren ewes should have a transrectal ultrasound   echography of  the reproductive  apparatus to decide the  best therapy

Expected benefits:

  • Scanning results will ensure good feeding management of the  pregnant ewes
  • Scanning results will give the opportunity to control the barren ewe and to make them pregnant.
  • Scanning results  improve  grassland management  
  • Scanning results help the planning of lambings
  •  More benefits are expected for problematic farms

Prerequisites and/or limits:

Good technician for scanning, good management, farm facilities.

Farmer/farm able to manage the animals according to the scanning results.   

Tips & tricks:

Scientific Basis:

Jones, A. K., Gately, R. E., McFadden, K. K., Zinn, S. A., Govoni, K. E., & Reed, S. A. (2016). Transabdominal ultrasound for detection of pregnancy, fetal and placental landmarks, and fetal age before Day 45 of gestation in the sheep. Theriogenology, 85(5), 939–945.

Petrujkić, B. T., Cojkić, A., Petrujkić, K., Jeremić, I., Mašulović, D., Dimitrijević, V., … Beier, R. C. (2016). Transabdominal and transrectal ultrasonography of fetuses in Württemberg ewes: Correlation with gestational age. Animal Science Journal, 87(2), 197–201.

Scott, P. R. (2012). Applications of diagnostic ultrasonography in small ruminant reproductive management. Animal Reproduction Science, 130(3–4), 184–186.

Fridlund, C., Humblot, P., Båge, R., & Söderquist, L. (2013). Factors affecting the accuracy of pregnancy scanning in ewes. Veterinary Record, 173(24), 606–606.

Expected impacts:

Stakeholder Perception for Implementation of Solutions

1. Level End-User Assessment (Partner)









Pregnancy diagnosis: more information on benefits

Solution No/Name

Timing and needs of a scanning protocol

Service provider/technicians+vet or farmers

Advisors and farmers


Benefit expected

fertility, better labor organization, better feed management


Is the solution suitable for various production systems


Precise the systems – all types define in the first survey


What are the asset costs

Costs are related to scanning


What are the maintenance costs

Costs are related to the work load and depend on the size of the flock


Any limits to its applicability

Good technician for scanning, good management and farm facilities

Work Load



Service provider/tech.-vet-others

How much time is required to prepare and implement the solution



How many people is needed to implement the solution?

A veterinarian


How long it takes to get results?

the length of the gestation

How long it takes to see  an effect on sheep productivity?

next production period




Service provider/technicians-vet-others

What kind of equipment/tool are necessary?


scanning equipment

Skill/Knowledge-Training (farmer)

Does the solution need any specific skill/knowledge or training?


How much time will be required for training


Wider Environment

Does the solution need any particular structure or organisation?

An extension service system that compare data of different flocks may be useful

Other Comments

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