Bearing prevention

There are some things that you CAN do now to help reduce bearings in your ewes.

Bearings have long been a sore point for sheep farmers (and sheep) in the South, with little scientifically proven about the cause of them.

There are, however, some things that you CAN do now to help to reduce the incidence of bearings in your flock in late gestation.

Plan your shearing carefully

  • Shearing in the first half of pregnancy can increase the risk of bearings.

  • Shearing in the three months before mating, or in the second half of pregnancy, appeared to be protective in a 2000/2001 Southland and Hawkes Bay study.

Be mindful of body weight change at key times

  • The same study showed that ewes that increased their body weight between mating and scanning had an increased chance of bearings.

  • Maintaining a healthy body condition score and avoiding weight fluctuations during this time may lower your risk of bearings.

The study found no connection between breed and ewes getting bearings - so that's handy!

Now is a good time to start the conversation about bearing prevention, so give us a call and we would be happy to help.

- Donna Hamilton, BVSc


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