Our third nominee for the Most Improved LamPlus flock 2019 is Noggus Vendeens owned by Ciaran Coughlan. Ciaran established the Noggus flock in 2003 near Ferbane in Co. Offaly and has been an active member of LambPlus since 2009. Ciaran puts a big focus on both the replacement and the terminal index when selecting replacement females or stock rams. Days to slaughter is a sub-index that Ciaran uses as he feels the aim of the commercial farmer is to get lambs to slaughter quickly and the sheep he sells need to be able to deliver for the commercial farmer. Ciaran also focuses on the daughter’s milk sub-index when selecting rams to breed replacements. Despite his use of the €uro-Star rating when selecting animals Ciaran stated any animal he selects for breeding must have good conformation and be physically correct.
Data recording is something Ciaran has significantly improved in recent years and this has been helped significantly by using the LambPlus App. Ciaran finds the LambPlus App an excellent tool for recording data as once he logs the information its uploaded to the Sheep Ireland data base. The App saves transferring of data from paper to the Sheep Ireland data base and also it improves the timeliness of data recording as once the data is recorded on the LambPlus App it is recorded on the Sheep Ireland database. Ciaran has improved his data recording at all stages of the production system, from mating and pregnancy scanning to lambing and lamb weights to health traits such as lameness, mastitis and dag score. Ciaran’s recording of good quality data in a timely fashion has resulted in the Noggus flock having an impressive DQI of 91%.
Ciaran’s use of the €uro-Star values to select replacement females and breeding rams has resulted in his 2019 lambs having an average €uro-Star value of €2.15 on the replacement index and €0.54 on the terminal index placing Noggus Vendeens in the Top 4% of Vendeen flocks.
Although the vast majority of Ciaran’s flock are mated naturally Ciaran has used AI in the past to allow him access to the top French genetics of the Vendeen breed. Ciaran has also used the RamPlus and CPT programmes to improve his flock’s linkage with his stock ram (Quitrent Odo) being used in the CPT in 2018 and a home bred ram lamb (Noggus Tyson) being used in the CPT in 2019. Ciaran’s involvement in the RamPlus and CPT and his excellent data recording has resulted in his flock having an average index accuracy of 43%.
Quitrent Odo has the most progeny in the flock and was selected based on his based on his €uro-Star rating which is impressive at €3.38 (Top 4%) on the replacement index and €0.52 (Top 9%) on the terminal index. Quitrent Odo also backs up his €uro-Star rating with excellent physical traits winning the All Ireland Senior Ram class at the Irish Vendeen Sheep Society show in June 2019. The benefit of this Odo’s inclusion in the CPT can be seen from his high accuracy figure of 71% on the replacement index and 73% on the terminal index. Quitrent Odo has a days to slaughter index of -3.5 days (Top 8%) and is in the top 4% for number of lambs born. The ram with the second most progeny in the Noggus flock is another ram from the Quitrent flock, Quitrent Niall, who has a very impressive €uro-Star rating of €7.49 (Top 1%) on the replacement index with an accuracy of 80% and €1.64 (Top 1%) on the terminal index with an accuracy of 81%. Quitrent Niall is in the top 1% for days to slaughter at -11.9 days and is in the top 3% for lamb survival and top 1% for number of lambs born.