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Poultry Advisor

The Teagasc Poultry Advisor, Rebecca Tierney is based in the advisory office in Ballyhaise County Cavan.  Rebecca is making a name for herself with the pioneering ‘Let’s Talk Poultry webinars. In the first of our ‘Meet our People’ series Rebecca tells us a little about herself and the work she carries out.

Hi, my name is Rebecca Tierney and I began with Teagasc in September 2019.  My background is not in poultry.  I grew up and live on a suckler farm in County Leitrim; however, my grandfather always owned a backyard flock which kindled my love of agriculture.

I studied Animal Science in University College Dublin, graduating in September in 2017. Once I graduated I wanted to take a different route than the normal dairy or drystock. The opportunities in the poultry industry were pointed out to me and after some investigation I felt this was a good choice for me. Immediately after graduating I began a distance learning Masters course through SRUC in Scotland, on Applied Poultry Science. This course covered all areas of Poultry including nutrition, health and welfare, the variety of production systems, and much more.

Before joining Teagasc, I was involved in all sectors of agriculture with a focus on poultry. Through this role, I developed some key connections and gained knowledge from the industry which is aiding me in my new role.

In Teagasc, I will be providing a Level 5 Certificate Component Award in Poultry Management. The first round of this course began in February of this year. However, it will operate again. The course covers nutrition, welfare, housing, flock recording, manure handling and legislation.  If you are interested in attending this course, you can email your interest to Rebecca.tierney@teagasc.ie.

My role also involves offering advice to existing or potentially new poultry producers. I can give guidance on the options within the poultry industry. I can also assist if you have queries on the TAMS grants, or schemes such as the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) which is offered through SEAI. If you have any queries, please forward them to my email.

Part of the course in SRUC involves a research component which I plan complete in the coming year. I will focus on energy efficiency on poultry farms across Ireland. Sustainability is becoming a very important topic within agriculture, and one which can be improved on to aid Ireland in achieving our targets. I hope this study can highlight areas where improvements can be made to increase our sustainability; while, also reducing costs for the producer.

The poultry industry is currently facing some difficult times with a number of Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza of the H6N1 sub-type in Ireland. This sub-type of avian influenza is not a notifiable disease and has no known public health risk or international trade implications. This outbreak is a very important reminder of the importance for strict biosecurity measures on our poultry farms. All poultry farmers, including backyard flock owners, are urged to be vigilant and ensure they enforce strict biosecurity measures. Only essential personnel, vehicles and equipment should have access to the flocks.

Webinars

The Let’s Talk Poultry series of webinars hosted by Teagasc with support from animal nutrition company, Alltech is aimed at farmers. The webinars will provide a knowledge transfer platform from key industry figures providing topical and up-to-date information for producers.

The first webinar in the Let’s Talk Poultry series, highlighted the importance of biosecurity on our farms. It is available to view here 

The second in the series ‘Chick Start - The dos and don’ts to a healthier crop’ -is on Wednesday June 17th. You can register for this and other in the series here 

If anyone has any queries in relation to the course, the webinars, getting involved in poultry, or any other topic; please do not hesitate to get in contact with me.”

Phone: 049 4338666 

Email: Rebecca.tierney@teagasc.ie