Across the country pedigree and commercial sheep farmers are busy preparing their stock for the current breeding season. Over the last few weeks there have been many visits to Ovidata flocks by Sheep Ireland and Teagasc technicians in preparation of the ewes and rams being used for breeding. While visiting flocks, technicians gathered phenotypic data such as lameness, body condition score (BCS) and dag scores which are important health checks to take premating. Ewe matures weights were taken prior to the ram being put to the ewes and where any new sheep have joined the flock, tissues samples for DNA extraction were collected and will be used for parentage verification and for further research.
During the last few months and throughout the year, Sheep Ireland and Teagasc technicians as well as the participating farmers themselves are working tirelessly to ensure all crucial data is collected in order to generate useful flock reports and genetic evaluations for each farmer. These past few months in particular have been challenging due to the current global pandemic. However, essential farming work still needs to be done and best efforts from all parties involved in Ovidata have ensured staff and farmer safety by taking all precautionary measures put in place by the government.
Peadar Kearney’s flock visit at a glance below.