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Checking condition of Hill ewes

Damian Costello, Teagasc Sheep Specialist discusses the importance of assessing the body condition of ewes coming up to mating at a recent sheep open day on the farm of Teagasc BETTER Farm sheep programme participant John Joe Fitzgerald, Dingle, Co. Kerry.

In both hill and lowland sheep breeding systems, the overall goal should be to reduce the variation in body condition score (BCS) across a flock and aim to have as high as possible the proportion of ewes at the target BCS at the time of joining rams. In practical terms all ewes should be assessed for BCS at least 10 weeks pre-mating dividing off ewes that fall below the target BCS. This group should be offered the best grass available aiming to regain BCS while the group at or above target are fed to maintain their current BCS.

Watch this short video clip for advice from Damian

If you liked this article you might also like to read Purchasing rams or How to check the ewe is fit for breeding

You might also like to learn more about the Hill sheep farm of John Joe Fitzgerald here and about the BETTER Farm Sheep Programme here

The Teagasc Sheep Specialists issue an article on a topic of interest to sheep farmers on Tuesdays here on Teagasc Daily.  Find more on Teagasc Sheep here. For any further information or assistance contact your local Teagasc Office here: Advisory Regions