When an ultrasound technician has been available, we have had our lambs scanned to evaluate loin eye depth and back fat thickness. This data is entered into NSIP along with body weights, to be used for selection of animals that are genetically superior for muscling traits.
We have not scanned for 2-3 years now for a variety of reasons:
1. Finding an U/S technician- the fellow who used to do our ultrasound work has moved out of the area. I have been searching for a NSIP-certified technician who can do it for a reasonable fee.
2. Early-marketing of lambs has made it a challenge to ultrasound as much of the lamb crop has already left the farm (with the cull lambs often leaving as hothouse lambs) prior to making weight sufficient for ultrasounding. This only leaves a sub-sample of the lamb crop for ultrasounding, and this group should be the genetically superior animals which would skew the normal bell curve without the 'bottom enders' also being scanned.
3. Multiple lambings/year makes it a challenge to ultrasound as it's not economical to have a technician come to the farm multiple times/year (there are none that I know of in our immediate region, so transportation costs soon add up) to scan multiple lamb groups.
However, we will continue to search for a solution for our farm to continue scanning when we can, particularly when new sires are introduced.
Measuring back fat and loin eye depth.
Discussing a scanned image.
Scanning a lamb
Probe on loin area, between the 12th and 13th ribs
K Bar K Farm
Last Updated August 23, 2017