Improving flock performance and returns: Farm walk on next week

Lameness, minimising antibiotic use, sheep dips and mental health will be some of the key topics on for discussion at this year’s National Sheep Farm Walk in Westport next week.

Organised by Teagasc, the event will be hosted by Jimmy and Teresa Garrivan on their farm in Belclare, Westport, on the shores of Clew Bay, Co. Mayo.

The day, entitled “Sheep Flock Health – A Way to Improve Performance and Increase Returns”, will take place next Wednesday, July 17, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

Flock health focusing on lameness, minimising antibiotic usage, and the different abortion types will be examined by specialised sheep vets, according to Teagasc.

The Clean Livestock Policy will be demonstrated along with preparing lambs for sale for the live trade.

This, according to Teagasc, will aim to show how improvements in appearance can help achieve better returns from the marketplace.

In addition, experts will examine market prospects for the remainder of the season.

Issues surrounding water quality, as well as the use and disposal of sheep dips, are earmarked as areas of increasing importance, and will be discussed in detail on the evening.

With farming a stressful job – particularly in times of severe weather and prices, looking after one’s mental health will be a primary focus of the evening.

Finally, there will be a demonstration on training a young dog along with a range of trade stands, with the local sheep producer groups showing their wares for the not-too-distant breeding sales.

The farm walk is a Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approved Knowledge Transfer (KT) sheep event, with registration getting underway from 6:45pm to 7:45pm.