BETTER use of ewe pregnancy scans is the key to decreasing lamb mortality and improving profitability.
NSW Department of Primary Industries livestock officer Chris Shands told a workshop in Benambra last week that making better use of the scanning data could help producers improve their flock.
Mr Shands said scans could be used to identify and cull dry ewes that were less productive and find and retain animals that consistently produced single lambs or twins.
He said culling out dry ewes was a way producers could improve the efficiency of their flock over time, and marking them with an ear clip or keeping detailed tag records was a good way of keeping track of them.
Ewes pregnant with a twin lambs had different feed requirements to the single pregnant ewes, and to maintain their condition they needed extra feed and supplements just before birth.
"The repeatability of having another twin in the following year is quite high," Mr Shands said.
"It's about 60 per cent, (providing) the conditions are right.
"We can select the progeny from these animals to make our flocks a bit more efficient."
The most fertile ewes and best mothers could then be retained, allowing fewer maiden ewes that had more lambing problems.
"To make the flock a little bit more efficient you keep your older ewes one extra year," Mr Shands said.