Good things take time, and it's time to unleash our data geeks onto a few mobs.
With enough hounding of the farmer and one of the founders, we now have our very own flock of VetSouth trial sheep! These girls are currently split into two mobs and will be separated further again shortly after being selected by our resident vets and epidemiologists. We have 200 two tooths, half of which will become a testing group and half a control group. There are also 300 hoggets that will be randomised and separated into different groups eventually.
We're excited to have FarmIQ on board, all animals have been electronically tagged and recorded using their software. We are currently working on gathering the preliminary data for each animal – weight, body condition score, mineral levels, & worm burden to name a few.
From here it will start to get exciting, we will be recording every possible piece of data available for these animals, we will eventually have a database with unlimited possibilities! Here's the part that most excites the farmer, we will record: seasonal weights & BCS, assisted lambings, percentages, mortality/disease of all ewes and lambs.
Why is this so exciting? With this data, we can truly begin to look at ewe condition/genetics vs lambing outcomes. This intensive monitoring allows us to create our own in-house trials on certain interventions, treatments (preventative and reactive), hogget mating, drench resistance... We are building quite the list!
Keep an eye out in future Field Notes, and if you have something you always wondered about that we could test for you let us know.
A big thank you to the vets, techs and support staff that have been involved already, we look forward to bringing you regular updates on what we are looking at and hopefully some interesting findings.
- Carey Buchanan