Source: AgriLife Today
The age-old problem of matching ewes with their offspring is getting some help from modern technology, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.
“For a sizeable group of animals, matching lambs with their mothers can turn into a logistical and economic nightmare,” said Dr. Reid Redden, state sheep and goat specialist at San Angelo. “The practice requires time, facilities and added feed costs. Plus, the animals are often in an unfamiliar environment very dissimilar to their normal pasture setting. All of this adds stress to the animals.”
RFID ear tags determine parentage of lambs or kids to their dams by the frequency they travel through a check station, since offspring will trail behind their dams, Redden said.
“Both dam and offspring must have an RFID tag and must travel at their own speed through a narrow check station, usually two sheets of plywood with the tag reader mounted on one, for a couple of weeks,” he said.
Redden said the AgriLife faculty in San Angelo tested an Australian made product, PedigreeScan reader and KoolCollect software, Sapien Technology, Victoria, Australia, and found it to be very accurate in correctly matching ewes with lambs. The cost of the unit is $3,000 and the cost of the software is $600.
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