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Weekly Update: 23/01/2015

CPT Update – Pregnancy scanning

  • This week the final CPT flocks were pregnancy scanned. This is always a nervous time as we wait to calculate the ewe conception rate to AI. Over the years the conception rate to AI across our CPT flocks has been reasonably good. This year across the five flocks we have recorded mixed results, from a conception rate to AI of 66% for one flock, up to over 80% for another.
  • Why this variation? This is something we will be investigating. Our ewe preparation procedures are identical across all flocks, as is our AI procedure. Perhaps ewe weight at mating is something we need to look at. As ewes need to be synchronised in advance of AI, perhaps we need to tailor hormone administration according to ewe weight. As all CPT ewes are weighed and condition scored regularly, we can assess if weight is a factor in ewes that fail to hold to first service. We also need to investigate if particular rams used in the programme have contributed to the variation in conception rates. While each semen sample is visually assessed immediately in advance of AI, this does not rule out the fact that certain rams will undoubtedly deliver higher conception rates than others.


Teagasc Hill Sheep Conference

  • Just a reminder that this major sheep event is taking place next Wednesday night (28th January) in the Castlecourt Hotel, Westport, Co. Mayo. The event kicks off at 6.00pm and will include a host of very interesting speakers, including a performance recording Blackface Mountain breeder from Northern Ireland named Sam Wharry. Sam has engaged with Sheep Ireland since our beginning in 2009 and farmers should find his approach to performance recording extremely interesting.