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Live Sheep Scanning at Cotswold Farm Park

Live Sheep Scanning at Cotswold Farm Park

Adam Henson and his team will be making Cotswold Farm Park history on Saturday (16th December), by scanning their pregnant ewes LIVE in front of visitors. Think of it as the prenatal prequel to Lambing Live! The Park will then be hosting a signing with Adam from 2pm - 3.30pm, to celebrate the release of his latest book, 'A Farmer and His Dog'.

Starting at midday in the Farm Park’s newest building the Animal Barn, 225 ewes will be scanned, revealing how many lambs they are carrying. The event is expected to last for around an hour.

Scanning tends to happen around 80 days into a ewe’s 5 month gestation period. At this stage the lambs are the perfect size to be picked up by the scanning equipment, which works in the same way as the ultrasound scanners used to see unborn human babies.

On the day of scanning, all of the sheep will be moved to the Farm Park. They are walked through the race and are examined in turn, before being released back outside. Warm water or gel is used to improve contact between the machine and the skin and the hand held probe is run over the ewe’s tummy whilst a picture appears on the screen.

The black and white image is, to the untrained eye, a mass of moving blobs and shadows. The scanning operative is an expert however and very quick to pinpoint the lambs. The number will be recorded in a tally for each breed. Coloured dots are then sprayed onto each ewe to indicate the number of lambs they are carrying. This information is very important, particularly in the last 6 weeks of their gestation period, as the lambs are growing rapidly. This extra demand on the ewe means she will need a special diet. The ewes are brought into the Farm Park’s Lambing Barn (which is fully open to the public) around 4 weeks before they are due to give birth. They are separated according to the number of lambs they are carrying and fed a diet to match.

The Lambing Barn at the Farm Park will be open from 10th February 2018.

Explore Gloucestershire
15 December 2017

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