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Virtual Sheep Conference 2021


The Teagasc Sheep Conference 2021 took place virtually, across two evenings at 8pm on Tuesday, 26th January and Thursday 28th January. This is the 9th Annual Teagasc Sheep Conference which forms an integral part of Teagasc’s knowledge transfer programme to stakeholders involved in sheep production.

Tuesday, 26 January  

This session hosted by Michael Gottstein, Head of Sheep Knowledge Transfer, Teagasc, delivered a strong New Zealand influence as Teagasc Walsh Scholar Nicola Fetherstone gave an update on the INZAC trial in Athenry which compares one-star and five-star Irish ewes with elite New Zealand ewes. Hear how New Zealand ewes surpassed the performance of both Irish groups for litter size, ewe survival, lambing dystocia and lamb vigour.

The conference also heard from Prof. Paul Kenyon PhD, Professor of Sheep Husbandry at Massey University, New Zealand, and the head of the School of Agriculture and Environment. Paul works collaboratively with farmers, industry and veterinarians throughout New Zealand and is a regular presenter at industry and farmer events. Paul presented a paper on New Zealand feeding guidelines for growing lambs to target live weights on herbage. Professor Kenyon also outlined lamb production from pasture in New Zealand, including grazing management, inclusion of white clover and mixed herb species.

Watch Part One of the Teagasc Virtual Sheep Conference below:

Thursday, 28 January 

Lambing accounts for over 25% of the annual labour requirement on a sheep farm, so any steps that can be taken to reduce labour is really important. On part two of the Teagasc Virtual Sheep Conference hosted by Damian Costello, Sheep Knowledge Transfer Specialist in Teagasc, attendees heard from Áine O’Brien, Post-doctoral Researcher on Sheep Genetics and Genomics with Teagasc, who outlined how you can reduce labour at lambing by improving lamb vigour and ewe mothering ability through breeding.

The conference also heard from UK Vet Ben Shrugnal who presented on Texel throat or laryngeal chondritis, an obstructive disease of the upper respiratory tract in sheep, and outlined how more genetic work is required in order to select sheep at lower risk of developing the condition.

Watch Part Two of the Teagasc Virtual Sheep Conference below:

Event Proceedings

The Event Proceedings of the Virtual Sheep Conference 2021 can be found here Download Publication (PDF)

For more information on Teagasc Sheep go to the Teagasc Sheep homepage here https://www.teagasc.ie/animals/sheep/