Sheep Newsletter - July 2021
02 July 2021
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In this month's edition:
- Grassland management
Grass has been growing rapidly through June. Many farmers have a lot of grass and it is getting stemmy and digestibility is reducing rapidly. Measure how much grass you have on your farm.
There is no benefit in leaving lambs suckling ewes longer than 100 days (14 weeks). After weaning ewes should be restricted for a week and then have access to grass to regain body condition.
- Liver fluke
If you are sending cull ewes to the factory, make sure you get feedback on the status of the livers. Factory feedback is the gold standard in terms of identifying if sheep on your farm need to be treated for liver fluke.
- RESEARCH UPDATE - Sheep Research Demonstration Farm, Athenry
Philip Creighton, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc Athenry, Co. Galway reports on grass growth and performance.
After lower than normal grass growth rates in April and early May, growth has been consistently above 80kg DM/ha/day here in Athenry for late May and June.
- Early lamb 2022
Easter Sunday falls on April 17, 2022, Ramadan begins on April 1. These are key dates that producers should keep in mind as they will drive demand for spring lamb next year.
- BETTER FARM UPDATE - Growth and performance
Frank Campion, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Athenry, Co. Galway looks at grass growth and lamb performance on the BETTER sheep farms. Grass growth rates increased significantly on the lowland BETTER sheep farms towards the end of May and into June, which has allowed all flocks to cut silage and also led to further paddocks being dropped out of the grazing rotation for silage in order to maintain control over grass quality and supplies in front of the flocks.
- Selecting rams for breeding
July marks the start of the breeding sales. There are considerable advantages to buying replacement rams early. These include: 1) larger selection of rams to choose from; 2) ability to have the ram on your farm to acclimatise to new surroundings, diet, etc., before the breeding season; and, 3) ability to complete a full quarantine period to avoid bringing new diseases/parasites into your flock.
Faecal egg counts for stomach worms have risen rapidly during June. When treating lambs for stomach worms ensure you get a faecal egg count done after drenching to ensure that the wormer is still working on your farm.
- HEALTH & SAFETY - Farm Safety Week
July is the most dangerous month of the year, with the highest levels of farm workplace deaths based on past records. Let us change this trend in 2021. Farm Safety Week starts on Monday July 19 when the official launch occurs.