Adult Sheep - Too Big and Too Heavy?
Concerns have been raised that as we have increased the growth rates and size in our young sheep, our adult sheep are now too big and too heavy to handle safely. Shearers in particular, are facing OH&S risks, shearing large adult ewes and rams in excess of 100kg. Short and longer term solutions for this problem vary from, alternative shearing methods (eg. upright shearing platforms) to including lower adult body weight as a selection criteria in your breeding objective. The new Lambplan Maternal Indexes MCP and MCP+ aim to maintain adult weight while still increasing weaning and post weaning weight. Terminal breeds may also need to consider adult weight in their selection criteria
>> See Sheep Central articles on “Are heavy sheep breaking the backs of Australian shearers”
>> Read Maternal Indexes
>> Read Maternal Size