A new digital tool has just been launched to assist sheep producers to record the condition score of their stock and make more informed management decisions.
The Sheep Condition Scoring app has been developed by the Department of Agriculture and Food to enable producers to undertake condition scoring without the aid of an assistant.
Condition scoring – assessing the muscle and fat covering the backbone and ribs of the sheep – provides a visual estimate of the nutritional wellbeing of the animal and its energy store.
Senior development officer Mandy Curnow said the app would be a useful addition to producers’ tool kits.
“The app provides producers with a quick and easy way to record the body condition of their sheep on a smart phone or tablet,” Ms Curnow said.
“It can also be used to calculate the average flock condition score, which is produced in the form of a histogram to show the range of scores within the flock. This will aid growers to identify if there is a trend towards lighter or heavier scores.”
Once the data is entered with a mob name and date, the average score and all individual data points can be viewed, which can then be emailed from the device.
The Sheep Condition Scoring app has been designed to allow users to whole, half or quarter scores, consistent with Lifetime Ewe Management protocols.
“The data can be saved and retrieved later, allowing producers to track a mob’s scores over time,” Ms Curnow said.
“Easy access to this information will enable producers to make more informed management decisions, with regards to feed budgeting and achieving condition score targets for joining and lambing.”
The app will complement the Flystrike Assist app, also developed by the department, which helps producers with treatment decisions and chemical with-holding periods.
The apps are available from iTunes or via the department’s website agric.wa.gov.au by searching for ‘sheep tools’.
Media contact: Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison, +61 (0)8 9368 3937