Maiden Merino ewe conception rates


The NSW Lifetime Wool project has shown that there is a strong relationship between fat score at joining and conception rate for adult ewes. But does the conception rate of maiden ewes respond in the same manner?

It is also important to know the mechanism that drives these conception responses. Does increased body condition at joining result in fewer dry ewes or more twin bearing ewes? Is this the same for maiden ewes and adults? The answers to these questions will have an impact on your culling decisions and the management of your breeding flock.

Fat scores and bodyweights of maiden ewes at joining, along with the number of foetuses scanned at mid-pregnancy, from four NSW Lifetime Wool project sites were analysed to explore the relationship between these three traits in maiden ewes. The results of this analysis are provided in this Primefact.

Contents include:

  • Maiden ewe conception - it's all about bodyweight
  • What is driving the conception response?
  • So what does this mean for managing a Merino breeding flock?
  • Conception rate is variable between flocks


Primefact 308 Second Edition

Published: Feb 2007