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Farmer Focus: Tomás O’Toole and his lamb finishing in the west


Tomás O’Toole, a Teagasc BETTER Farm Sheep Programme participant, who is farming in Moyard outside of Clifden Co Galway, and sheep specialist Damian Costello, join Ciarán Lynch on this week’s OviCast podcast.

Tomás runs a split hill and lowland flock and a suckler to weaning system which he explains in more detail.  He discusses the changes in his flock over the past number of years and his decision to run two separate sheep enterprises, his breeding decisions and the progress and challenges he has encountered on the way.

Tomás explains the move away from selling store lambs to finishing all lambs on the farm and his reasons for doing so, while Damian highlights how this suits Tomás’ system but that it may have limitations for others.

With the lighter hill lambs housed in October, they discuss the indoor finishing of these and how Tomás feels it’s delivering a greater margin for his system.

Finally, Damian highlights the need for regular drafting and assessing fat cover on these type of lambs during intensive finishing period.

Find out more about the Teagasc BETTER Sheep farm programme here.                       

For more episodes go to the OviCast podcast show page.