Case Study: Shaun & Seamus Gahan, Graiguenamanagh Co. Kilkenny ; Barrowlands Flock
Shaun and Seamus Gahan run a flock of pedigree Suffolk ewes. The flock has been performance recording with Sheep Ireland since 2009 and since then has started to build up a bank of information on the bloodlines within the flock. With a flock DQI of 81% in 2017 they have recorded a lot valuable information through the year.
For the purpose of this case study we are going to look at the pregnancy scanning results for the 2018 January lambing ewes. In the first chart we have divided the ewes by their EuroStar rating for number of lambs born (This is displayed on all Sheep Ireland sales catalogues) and then found the average scanning result for each of the groups. The difference in the ewes rated in the bottom 20% (1 Star) and the ewes rated as being in the top 20% (5 Star) of the breed for number of lambs born was 0.52 lambs per ewe. That’s an extra half a lamb per ewe !!
Farmer’s comment: “We couldn’t believe that there was such a big difference between the 1 star and 5 star ewes in our own flock when we seen the results. It shows that high levels of performance recording and having a good DQI pays off over time, this will give me great confidence when selling my rams to my customers next year.”
Below is the same data except this time we found the average star rating of each ewe for number of lambs born and then split them into groups based on their pregnancy scan result. Again the results are quite remarkable. The average star rating of ewes that scanned with one lamb was only 1.5 compared to 2.27 twins and 3.25 for triplets respectively.