Sheep Ireland in conjunction with Teagasc held our sixth Sheep Breeding Workshop of 2019 on Tues 23rd July, on the farm of Allistair McNair in Newtowncunningham, County Donegal. There was an excellent turnout for this event with 100 plus attendees, with commercial and pedigree breeders who wanted to improve the output of their farm through improved breeding practices. The importance of a breeding strategy when sourcing a high index ram was the take home message at the workshops. Sheep Ireland and Teagasc gave presentations on €urostar evaluations and the benefits of using them, how to use the evaluations to promote your farm business, maximising the use of EID, flock health, ewe and ram NCT and bio-Security on the farm.
Allister is a arable and commercial sheep farmer who runs 300 breeding ewes and retains between 70 – 80 replacement ewes. He has been a closed flock for the past 3 years, not sourcing any replacement ewes from any other flock. Allister runs a grass based system (with some concentrates being fed to finish lambs) and also grows spring barley and sows wild bird cover. Allisters ewes are Belclare X Suffolk ewes, with 5 Texel and 5 Suffolk high €urostar rams used at mating in 2018- a good use of a team of rams.
See below for some pictures taken from the event.