Full-time landscaper, part-time ewe scanner reports outstanding pregnancy rates
Sheep & Beef
Sheep & Beef

Full-time landscaper, part-time ewe scanner reports outstanding pregnancy rates

Andrew Vavasour is right in the thick of his ewe pregnancy scanning beat across Gisborne, Wairoa, and the Hawkes Bay. 

In his other life, he has a successful landscaping business in Marlborough, but each winter, he gets on his woolly long johns and hat and steps inside the scanning tent.

Vavasour told REX hosts Rebecca Greaves and Hamish McKay that ewe pregnancy rates are looking outstanding this season.

"Just remarkable conditions, I haven't seen it like this in a while," he said.

As someone who talks to a lot of farmers, Vavasour is always impressed by the resilience of those working in Aotearoa's rural sector but noticed that many are particularly exhausted.

"There's a truckload more work to do to get their farms working efficiently again and it seems it's a bit insurmountable but the resilience is that they will get there it will just take time."

He told Greaves and McKay a very high percentage of the ewes he has seen are very healthy which likely plays a big part in so many healthy-looking pregnancies.

"Ewes have had the run of the farm so they haven't been held back pre-winter rotation and the other reason is facial eczema, for this region, there hasn't been any of note.

"Whether that's because they are grazing a bit higher or the eczema pores have washed off, apart from fly and some worm issues it's been quite healthy from a reproductive point of view."

Although he doesn't see them going to the ram, based on conception rates what he is seeing now is 'outstanding'.

An example Vavasour shared was a mob of 3800 mixed-aged ewes he scanned recently that scanned just on 200% and he didn't see a single skinny sheep.

"There's always a thick sheep or a skinny but they had zero skinny sheep, just remarkable conditions."

Vavasour, McKay and Greaves talked more about the difficulties of being a scanner, living away from home during scanning season and what he likes to do outside of work.