Industry consultant Geoff Duddy, from Sheep Solutions, said preparing the flock was critical for effective results and involved a lot more than simply opening the gate to let the rams in with the ewes.
“Ideally producers should be checking their ewes and rams eight weeks before joining to ensure they were in good condition and fit to work.
“Producers should focus on teeth, toes, torso, tossle and testicles when preparing their rams.
“Sperm production takes up to six or seven weeks within the testicles so any infection or health issue during the eight weeks prior to joining can affect sperm production and viability.
Mr Duddy said health checks for ewes were also important.
“Ewes should have a condition score of three or more on a rising plane of nutrition to improve ovulation and conception rates,” Mr Duddy said.