Using sentinel breeds to monitor BCS

Tip and trick Romania

In order to monitor BCS during grazing, especially in long wool sheep, sentinel breeds can be used. Using 4 to 6 ewes that belong to more ‘sensitive/demanding’ genotypes (e.g. Merino or Ratca) compared to the main breed/crossbred reared on the farm. More demanding/sensitive breeds loose BCS at a higher rate than the low input hardy breeds (e.g. Turcana or Tsigai), and thus, they could be used (shorn 2 times per year) as a tool to monitor condition of sheep and to act as ‘alarms thresholds’ for the farmer. This method is advised in extensive low input production systems, where the farmers do not practice body condition scoring of the animals.

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