In the summer we got a call from Eriu, a new Irish company that buys wool directly from farmers and makes various products.
They asked if we had Bluefaced Leicester fleeces for sale – their wool is known to be soft and fine and suitable for making clothing.
We were very pleased to see a great natural product being used as it should be. They recently sent us a hat made from wool from our farm and we look forward to working with them again.
We are currently organizing genotype tags for our new breeding rams and for some other sheep. As we are part of Lambplus through Sheep Ireland, we can order through this platform.
Genotyping can tell us the exact lineage of the sheep and their resistance to scrapie, allowing for more accurate counting.
I recently attended a Sheep Ireland meeting on Lambplus and the new Sheep Improvement Scheme (SIS) which was met with mixed opinions.
Ultimately, however, there is a willingness to improve the genetics. Using numbers from recorded sheep to select a ram is nothing new – many farms in New Zealand and Australia use them to select traits such as milkier ewes or lambs that finish faster.
This technology can help improve the setup of a farming operation.
Genotyping will give farmers a clearer picture of what they are buying since both of the ram’s parents are verified. It will make it easier to identify genetics that perform better on hills or flatlands.
Genotyping will also improve resistance to scrapie across the country.
With feed costs at an all-time high, there is no room for passengers in the yard. We have culled any ewes that might cause problems next spring or that would need extra feeding over the winter.
We will re-evaluate after scanning. The majority of dry ewes are sold, although some Hogget ewes may be given a second chance. All repeat offenders from last year will be sold.
Scanning the ewes and separating them into singles, twins, triplets and perhaps by wheel color allows for more accurate feeding prior to lambing. This lowers costs and improves performance by giving ewes the feed they need for the number of lambs they are carrying.
There is little point in scanning ewes unless the information is used to do so.
After Christmas we collect the ewes for sorting and scanning in part of the farm. Any batch requiring a random dose will be treated accordingly.
Lots of hands make easy work, and if we have a little help around over the holidays, we can get some jobs done like this.
On Wednesday 28th December we will also spend a day at the Carrick Christmas Belles sale of lamb sheep and dry hoggets
Tom Staunton farms in Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/sheep/advice/tom-staunton-genotyping-is-a-useful-tool-that-we-should-make-the-most-of-42231406.html Tom Staunton: Genotyping is a useful tool that we should make the most of