With mid-season lambing flocks getting their ewes scanned this month, a number of other jobs can be carried out on the same day while all of the ewes are in the yard.

Scanning day presents itself as a very useful day to get other important tasks carried out, especially if there is an extra labour unit on hand to help out.

For those who have housed their ewes – which at this stage is the vast majority of farms – scanning will allow you to group ewes according to litter size and help you to feed ewes accordingly.

Looking at what other jobs can be done, the first task that can be carried out is dosing ewes for fluke if it is needed or, if not done so already, administering vaccinations.

The second task that can be carried out is walking the ewes through a footbath on their way to be scanned.

After this – when the ewes are in the crush – the flock should be body condition scored (BCS) to identify any undernourished animals. Furthermore, these ewes can be batched together and offered extra feed to build body condition.

Up next is scanning. The accuracy of scanning is improved if ewes are not fed a few hours prior. If ewes are out on pasture, it is best if they are brought in the night before scanning and housed.

The final task is to batch the ewes according to how many lambs they are carrying, while also taking into account their BCS.


Ewes should be scanned between 80 and 90 days post ram turnout to achieve accurate results. Scanning at 80 days will ensure that the scanner can pick up all of the ewes that are in-lamb.

However, scanning ewes that are greater than 90 days in-lamb will make it more difficult for the scanner to identify how many lambs the ewe is carrying.

It is best practice to avoid scanning ewes that are fewer than 40 days in-lamb as this will result in pregnant ewes not being identified and possibly being culled.