CT scanning open day highlights opportunities to boost profitability of flocks

On Thursday 31 August, sheep breeders are invited to come along to Aberystwyth to preview Computed Tomography (CT) scanning to see how they can increase the productivity and profitability of their flocks.

The event, arranged by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) in conjunction with Farming Connect and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), who own the mobile scanner, will be based at the IBERS farm in Gogerddan, Aberystwyth.

The purpose of CT scanning is to x-ray the sheep in order to give an indication of how much meat the animal will yield as well as how fast it could grow in relation to its size and weight. Three different images are taken in total which focus on the chest, loin and leg. This gives an overall potential measurement of meat yield and will help identify genetically superior animals within a flock.

Cefin Pryce, a sheep farmer from Llanfair Caereinion has been using this technology since 2014 and has seen great benefits as a result to his flock.

Mr Pryce noted: “I believe that performance recording has given us the opportunity to improve the genetics of our flock while maintaining type to produce the best animals we can. By utilising the CT Scanning results the accuracy of our EBVs have increased which has meant that buyers can have increased confidence when purchasing these animals.’’

Gwawr Parry, Industry Development Officer at HCC added: “This is a great opportunity for sheep breeders in Wales to see this innovative technology which could help them develop their flock in the future.

“Utilising the latest available technology will be crucial for the industry in the future therefore HCC is offering a financial contribution towards CT scanning of 50% for up to 10 animals per holding. We would encourage farmers to grab the chance to attend and to receive more information on how this could benefit their own businesses.”

Any sheep breeders who are interested in viewing the demonstration, which will be from 10am to 2pm, need to contact HCC on 01970 625050 to book their place.