Interested in finishing hill store lambs? – Teagasc is holding an open day

Teagasc will host a hill store lamb finishing open day at its Athenry Campus, tomorrow, November 15.

The various options available for finishing store lambs from hill flocks will be explored at tomorrow’s open day, which will take place from 11am to 2pm.

The day will focus on the research work that has been carried out at the Athenry sheep research facility in regards to systems for finishing store lambs and how best to do so over the coming months.

It will also give farmers a first-hand look at how the research may be applied at farm level.

Teagasc’s Michael Diskin said the day will focus on the options available to farmers and how the systems of production have changed in recent years as late season grazing conditions have varied significantly.

There are in the order of 500,000 hill and cross-bred lambs available as store lambs that are finished on grass or forage each year.

The open day will provide farmers with the latest information on finishing various hill breeds, including Cheviot and Blackface, that are all part of the 400 head store lamb flock at Athenry.

Health and performance

Diskin said that all aspects of managing store lambs in order to achieve optimum carcass weights will be discussed on Tuesday.

This includes a run down on vaccination programs, parasite control and diet formulation.

On the latter, Diskin said there would be information regarding both forage and concentrate options, with particular focus on meal rations that have reduced in price over recent years.

He went on to say that performance parameters such as expected weight gains and final carcass weights would be addressed.

Adding to this he said that the software program used at Athenry to predict sheep performance would be demonstrated to farmers.