Sheep Ireland are currently still operating at the Irish Farmers Journal stand in Screggan, Tullamore for the Ploughing Championships 2018. Although the weather has been 1 star, Sheep Ireland along with the many other stands at the ploughing this year deserve 5 stars for the effort that has gone into the rebuilding of stands. Yesterdays storm that had caused havoc has since subsided and it was back to business today for Sheep Ireland.
The main message Sheep Ireland have been delivering is the positive results identified in trial work carried out by Sheep Ireland (Central Progeny Test) & Teagasc (INZAC flock) from using a 5 star ram. Eamon Wall can be seen speaking at the demo in the IFJ along with ICBF and Bordbia – Irish Food Board on Tuesday at the National Ploughing Championships 2018. The quote of the day said by Mr Wall was “The Terminal index is not all about growth, lambing difficulty and lamb survivability are important elements as well. If lambs are not surviving at birth that is going to hit the bottom line”
The importance of using a 5 star sheep vs a 1 star sheep is illustrated in the image below. Breeders have more lambs surviving to sale, they have increased percentages of unassisted births at lambing, ewes have increased efficiency meaning that their litter’s combined wean weight has exceed the ewes own weight. Ewes also have larger litter size meaning they have more lambs to sell. These extra lambs are heavier and faster growing than 1 star lambs.
Below is Sheep Ireland’s Kevin Mc Dermott speaking today at the National Ploughing Championships 2018. Kevin quoted “when buying a ram, what you need to do is figure out what you need him do”, using Tullamore farm as an example he said “they implement an ‘all-in, all-out system’, all their lambs are going to go to the factory, so that is the terminal index that needs to be focused on there”.