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Sheep Newsletter - December 2020

Get the latest information & advice from the Teagasc Sheep team in this month's newsletter. It includes: Grassland management; Ram management; Scanning; Research update - Getting ready for housing; Checking ewe condition & BETTER Farm update - Mating analysis.

View Sheep Newsletter - December 2020 here (PDF)

In this month's edition:

  • Grassland management
    Over the coming weeks it’s important that we don’t undo the preparations for the 2021 season by regrazing closed paddocks to delay housing or supplementation by a few further weeks.
  • Ram management
    Rams are a significant investment in a flock, but their longevity can be an issue. With the mating season wound up on many farms, it’s a good time to once again pay some attention to rams on the farm.
  • Scanning
    Ewes should be scanned as close to 80 days postram turnout as possible. Have preparation done for handling the flock, as it’s a busy time for scanners.
  • Research Update - Getting ready for housing
    Fiona McGovern of AGRIC, Teagasc Athenry, Co. Galway reports on preparing for housing, monitoring ewe BCS and planning for winter feeding on the INZAC Flock, Athenry.
  • Checking ewe condition
    Ewes tend to lose more condition during wet weather. As this back end hasn’t been ideal for grazing, lower dry matter (DM) grass and poor grazing conditions will leave some of the flock under pressure.
  • BETTER Farm Update - Mating analysis
    Frank Campion of AGRIC, Teagasc Athenry, Co. Galway reports on mating on the BETTER sheep farms. Rams are being removed from ewes at five to six weeks after joining across the lowland flocks and as discussed in previous updates, this is vitally important in order to ensure the lambing season is compact and not drawn out for what is usually a very small proportion of ewes in the flocks.
  • Health & Safety - Prevent fire deaths in the home
    Deaths due to fire are a source of tragedy in farmhouses. An Irish Health Research Board (HRB) study has shown that farmers and agricultural workers account for 20% of fire deaths nationally.