The economics of managing breeding ewes


The Lifetime Wool project has quantified the relationships between ewe fat score during pregnancy and production of both the ewe (wool production and quality, reproduction and mortality) and her progeny (wool production and quality and survival). See Primefact 807 Why fat score breeding ewes?

A key component of Lifetime Wool was economic modelling of breeding ewe management to quantify the impact of managing ewes to fact score targets during pregnancy on whole farm profitability.

Altering the fat score of breeding ewes impacts on whole farm profitability through a combination of four mechanisms:

  • impacts on the future production of the surviving progeny,
  • variation in the survival rate of the lambs born,
  • varying production achieved from the ewes including CFW, FD and number of lambs conceived, and
  • varying energy demands of ewes which results in changes in stocking rate and supplementary (grain) feeding.


Primefact 851

Published: Nov 2008