Inspection highlighted importance of tagging and recording flock changes
We had a sheep inspection on April 30. This was the first time we had one.
We were informed of this 48 hours beforehand. One lot of ewes (100) and their lambs were penned up when the Department inspector arrived. He then checked that all the ewes were tagged and recorded numbers from a sample of the ewes.
Out of 100 ewes, he read about half of them. We then went out the fields and counted all the sheep as they were moved through the gate to the next field. Then it was back inside to do the paperwork.
The total number of sheep on my farm was compared to the number I had sent back on my census form. You are allowed a 3-5pc difference for sheep that are not accountable on the day of the inspection.
We did not need to use this as the numbers were compatible. He then checked that my movement dockets were all written up in the flock register book and checked off a number of them. Some were knackery dockets. Next up, he wanted to find the ewes' numbers in the flock register that he had read earlier in the pen. This was the slowest part of the job. It is very important to put in the tag numbers in block form.
For example, when you tag your replacements, put them in as a group from the lowest to the highest. It is a lot easier to find one number in a group rather than looking for an individual.
It all worked out well and the pressure was off. The Department inspector was fair, he came to our farm to do his job and he was satisfied.
The main points that I learned were: