The first Sheep Ireland ‘Data Collection Workshop’ was held in the Columbkille Suffolk Ffock of Richard Moore, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny on Thursday the 14th of Feb 2020. The workshop was put in place to go through steps of data recording between Sheep Ireland staff and local breeders in an on-farm discussion group format. With Sheep Ireland rolling out our new data recording app and new data reports over the last couple of years, it was an opportunity for breeders to receive training on how to use the app to collect quick efficient data as well as using the reports to assess the data to benefits of their own flocks.
The timing of the workshop was designed around the 40-day weight recording for the Columbkille Sufflok flock. Both ewes and lambs were given a health check, covering weight, body condition, dag score and lameness by Sheep Ireland technician David Coen, this data was all collected through the Sheep Ireland app and breeders were given the opportunity to record data using the app with one to one support. David then, with the support of Eamon Wall, went through the data using the new weighing and health reports which were brought out at the end of 2019. Theses reports allow the breeder to assess the raw data collected on their flocks, from average weight and daily gain of the group, to Body condition averages and % lameness that breeders can use to make management decisions.
Other reports such as the pregnancy, lambing and ram reports were also discussed on the day and how breeders can use the data they have collected to their own benefit, as well as receiving €urostar evaluations for their lambs
On attending each breeder downloaded and logged into the app on their own phones so they were ready for data collection once they got home. Overall the workshop was a success and we got great feed back from breeders. Once this feedback and observation of the value of theses types of workshops has been assessed it maybe something Sheep Ireland will be looking to role out to groups of breeders around the country in 2020.