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Sheep Newsletter - November 2022

04 November 2022
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Grassland management
    As closing date is the main factor influencing the amount of grass available next spring, the aim for March-lambing flocks is to begin closing paddocks from mid October starting with paddocks that will be grazed first in spring. 
  • Monitor progress of mating
    Where ewe mating groups are merged three weeks after ram turnout, less ram power will then be required, as it will be mainly repeats being covered. Remove any ram where you suspect a fertility problem, as well as rams with any physical issue.
  • Thin ewe survey
    The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) regional veterinary laboratories, in association with Teagasc, are carrying out a study focusing on identifying the causes of poor BCS in Irish sheep flocks. The survey involves booking in and submitting three thin ewes per flock to a regional veterinary laboratory for euthanasia and post mortem, along with providing some basic flock information.
  • Slurry and manure study
    Teagasc is seeking 30 beef, dairy, pig, sheep and broiler farmers to participate in a study that will analyse the composition of animal slurry and manure, and assess their suitability for a range of uses with and without pre treatment. All results will be anonymised and each farmer will receive his/her results free. To express an interest, please fill in the online form (name, farm type and email) using the following link: www.teagasc.ie/animalwastes 
  • BETTER Farm Update - Weight and body condition score
    Frank Campion of the Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Athenry, Co. Galway reports on the condition of the BETTER sheep flocks heading into the winter. An analysis of mating liveweights and body condition score (BCS) for the mature ewes from five of the lowland BETTER sheep flocks is presented. Mature ewe BCS generally looks good across the farms but there is a large degree of variation in scores within some of these flocks.
  • Research Update - Preparing to close up
    Philip Creighton, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc Athenry, Co. Galway reports on closing and finishing on the Sheep Research Demonstration Farm. Rams were turned out to ewes on October 7. Ewe BCS going to the ram averaged 3.3. Up to mid October approximately 65% of lambs from the grass-only treatments and 78% of lambs from the grass plus white clover treatments had been drafted.
  • Health & Safety - Over 4,500 farm accidents occur annually
    Research from the Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) has revealed that there were 4,523 accidents on Irish farms during 2020. The data shows over 88% of these accidents involved the farm operator, with a further 11% relating to family members. Farm workers accounted for the remaining 1%.