Ultrasound diagnosis for sheep and goat production
Productivity and profitability of meat and milk production from small ruminants are geared by reproductive performance. Females that fail to reproduce, are only negatively impacting the environment. A major setback here is infertility but other reproductive-related problems are also important like delayed puberty and first conception, extended postpartum anestrus, and postnatal mortality. The means for enhancing reproductive performance have not changed since sheep and goats have become an important pillar of the food security of communities all over the world; How to match physiological stages with feed abundance, maximization of reproductive rate of female animal and ensuring survival of new born lambs is becoming increasingly significant for farm aniamal breeders, farm owners and operators.
Ultrasound technology has become cheaper and more accessible. Ultrasound machines do not contravene environmental priorities, but they are non-invasive and non-hormonal. A whole generation of easy-use, high resolution, portable machines is now available with a high reliability of diagnosis as early as 30 days of pregnancy—even less in sheep and goats. Skilled operators can provide different levels of information which will translate into concrete management strategies.
Veterinary ultrasound for pregnancy diagnosis has become a very common service, provided for dairy farmers even in developing countries. In countries where sheep and goats industry is highly market-oriented, managers have started to adopt the technology at a large scale. Scanning will identify pregnant and non-pregnant females after completion of the mating season when most females have had several chances of getting pregnant. This information is very valuable because it offers:
a) an opportunity for re-mating;
b) culling of non-fertile females;
c) timely planning of conditions for birth.
An advanced use of commercial, field-applicable veterinary ultrasound scanners is to determine number of fetuses (litter size) and their fetal age. Under this advanced reproductive management system, trained operators can identify non-bearing, single-bearing and multiple-bearing females. The non-pregnant females can be culled for profit and to improve flock fertility as exactly in the basic regime. Pregnant females can be sorted out into groups carrying single or multiple fetuses. This is important as farmers can rationalize the use of feed supplements by adjusting the extra quantities distributed at the end of pregnancy according to litter size. Survival rates for well-grown in utero fetuses are higher and multiple litters can benefit from a better preparation of the birth environment.
Secondly, the veterinary ultrasound system can better assess the age of the fetus to increase the precision of strategic feeding for colostrum production and appropriate mammary growth preparing for optimal milk synthesis and suckling. This is of uttermost importance under extensive production systems to ensure proper live weight and maturity of lambs and kids at birth.
Ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis is of great help to reduce reproductive losses and increase lambing rates in sheep and goat flocks. In some Middle East countries like Jordan, conception rates in farmers’ sheep flocks are relatively low, between 70 and 80 percent as a result of physiological events and poor management. However, with veterinary ulrasound, all barren animals can be identified in early October after the mating has ended. So the farmers are able to decide whether to give the ewe another chance of getting pregnant using a hormonal treatment or to cull the sheep based on their own knowledge of the individual history of their animals.
BW520V, BW540V, BW560V, BW570V, etc with a 2.0/2.5/3.5/5.0Mhz transabdomical convex array probe is recommended for this application. More economic veterinary ultrasounds like BW560V-pro, BW570V-pro and BW580V-pro, coming with 2.5/3.5Mhz mechanical sector probe are ideal for those who have a small-budget only. Bondway have been manufacturing various types of veterinary ultrasound for swine ovine goat alpacca etc since 2006. Always one of them are the right one for you.