Another busy week on the farm of our contributors, with show championships coming up, clipping, sheep drenched for worms and boluses. Read all about the events this week below.
Education: UCD Animal Science student
Farm: Jacob sheep farmer in Co. Wexford
This Week -
The NSBA championships and trade fair has come and gone for this year, kicking off the show season for many exhibitors. Overall it was a great success for the show’s first year combining an ideal location, sponsors, trade stands and exhibitors with quality stock. Hopefully, this event will continue to grow and build on this year’s success over the coming years.
Our show team did quite well for us taking home the first and second places in both the Jacob ram lamb and Jacob ewe lamb classes. While the Jacob section was relatively small in comparison to the terminal breeds there were still some very good quality animals brought out, notably a superb homebred shearling ewe from Cathal Walsh that won her class and went on to take the Champion Jacob rosette.
I was also very lucky to win the 17-23 category in the ‘Win a Texel Ewe’ competition and take home a €300 voucher to spend on a ewe at the Irish Texel premier sale in August. The ‘Win a Texel Ewe’ competition was run by the Irish Texel Sheep Society in association with The Irish Farmers Journal and is an excellent opportunity for young sheep breeders to showcase their flock, put themselves out there and be in with a chance of winning a pedigree Texel ewe. This year’s overall winner and new owner of a double five-star Texel ewe was 14-year-old Gerard Shiels hailing from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
At home this week the ewe lambs received their second worm drench, (a yellow Levamisole-based drench) and a trace mineral bolus containing Cobalt, Copper, Iodine and Selenium. As the ewe lambs are now on a grass-only diet the bolus will supply trace elements that were previously supplemented through concentrates. These will be bloused again in 6-8 weeks with the same product
Name: Ciaran Sheelan
Follow on Twitter: @ciaran_sheelan
Description: Hill sheep farmer in Co. Louth (Mayo Blackface + Blackface x Cheviot crosses). Also trains working dogs for sale.
Education: Animal Science from University of College in Dublin.
This week -
We are hoping for more rain here, as the dry spell is slowing down growth. Even the bracken on the hills is getting it difficult and beginning to spread its shade over the rest of the vegetation, but this is probably one of the upsides to the draught.
Have bought in hay which will help to build back up a healthy fodder reserve for next winter. I have taken advantage of the dry spell and have spot sprayed nettles that have been creeping into the fields with “Grazon Pro” which has given a great kill.
The Week ahead -
I have begun this year’s clipping (shearing) season with a few rams for a neighbour. I take on a small bit of clipping every year, which is a job I really enjoy. It’s a good opportunity to discuss all things sheep related and to see other farmers stock in their “working clothes”, this can be a useful benchmark when making decisions on my own flock.
I will look to gather my own hogget’s for clipping of the hill in the next week as the weather allows, but I won’t start on the ewes till closer to July.