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Sheep Newsletter - September 2021


This month's Sheep Newsletter includes information on: grassland management; getting ready for breeding; BETTER Farm Update - On the hill; Research Update - Lamb growth and drafting; and Health & Safety - Food for thought.

View it here: Sheep Newsletter - September 2021 (PDF)

In this month's edition:

  • Grassland
    As our efforts shift towards setting up the closing plan for the farm and building up a reserve of grass, we still need to focus on achieving high levels of lamb performance and building ewe condition prior to the mating period. It’s important we keep a check on the demand on the farm and take steps early in the month to provide sufficient grass supply for the coming months as growth tapers off.
  • BETTER Farm Update - On the hill
    Frank Campion of the Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc Athenry, Co. Galway reports on the hill flocks and two new farms joining the programme. Lamb performance has generally been good across the hill flocks and the farms are assessing their options for selling these lambs based on local store lamb prices and the grass and facilities available for finishing lambs on farm.
  • Getting ready for breeding
    As the clock ticks down to the start of the breeding season for many flocks, so does the time to correct any issues in the breeding flocks. Lowland flocks should aim to have their ewe flocks in condition score of 3.5, with as few as possible below this target. Building condition will take time as one unit is equivalent to 10-12kg in body weight for most of our lowland ewe breeds.
  • Research Update - Lamb growth and drafting
    Philip Creighton of AGRIC, Teagasc Athenry, Co. Galway reports on lamb growth rates on the Sheep Research Demonstration Farm, Athenry. Lamb growth rates for the past month have been in the region of 164g/day (grass only) to 187g/day (grass and white clover), with 25% of lambs drafted from grass-only groups and 30% drafted from grass and white clover groups up to mid August.
  • Health & Safety - Food for thought
    The Teagasc strategy applies the total worker health model to support farmers with both health and wellbeing and health and safety. Excess body weight is associated with increased injury, cardiovascular disease, cancers, Covid-19 disease severity, musculoskeletal disorders and depression.