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General sheep thread



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,199 ✭✭✭Sami23

    @wrangler - I know you've probably mentioned it before but just wondering why you prefer ration over nuts ?

    I'm giving a 20% nut here to the ewes with multiples.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,090 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    Ingredients in nuts are a lot more processed so would have less fibre, we feed high levels of meal here so higher fibre lessens their chance of been sickened,

    It probably doesn't make any difference in conventional systems with lower levels of feeding but when I'm asked about our system i feel they should be getting ration

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,776 ✭✭✭paddysdream

    Scanned 28th December for end of February/ early March lambing.

    Better result than last year likely because had grass this autumn unlike 2022.

    107 singles, 226 doubles,18 trebles,11 dry ewes.Think that's about 1.7. Happy enough with it.Kept c.100 lambs as well but didn't put ram with them for a couple of reasons.

    Not big enough this year imo plus couple of year ago had 60% plus ewe lambs who scanned in lamb absorb them between scanning and expected lambing time.

    No visible signs of loss and when I examined them none springing etc.Expensive enough feeding them without expected return.

    That said always reckon a ewe lamb even having a dead lamb makes a much easier lambed hogget the following year.

    As regards keeping a dry ewe ,never do so here.Would keep a ewe lamb if she didn't go in lamb or a bought in hogget for another year but never a ewe.

    Cast ewe price is decent at present and dry ones are usually the best looking sheep as not under any pressure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 449 ✭✭joe35

    Would it be ok to fluke dose ewes in that frostie weather

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,207 ✭✭✭weatherbyfoxer

    What's people thoughts on the out look for lowland sheep production in ireland here going forward? a point here where I'm going to have to invest in upgrading facilities if I'm staying at them long term...intreasted to what others are planning or what way do you think its heading?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,090 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    The guy that has my sheep tunnel rented is always juggling figures in how he's going to go forward on his farm, he has to build everything from the ground up. He can't justify any building for sheep such is the cost at the moment,

    I wouldn't see lamb price improving much on this years prices, it'd be good if it even held present prices

    But then cattle costs are worse as regards cost /benefit of building for them

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,207 ✭✭✭weatherbyfoxer

    Depends a lot on the type of investment for example extending an existing shed or roofing an existing yard,..a new green field sheep shed would be very hard justified ok

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,090 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    They take up a lot of room if you go down the housing route, Using the ram effect and lambing 200 ewes you wouldn't get away with less than 40 individual pens, even that takes up a lot of sheds.

    Best is probably to go organic and half stock if you could get your head around it

    Storing straw and lambing pens would use the original sheds in most cases

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭farawaygrass

    im wondering that too. A lot of things pulling on my time between family and work. Ten years ago I thought I’d eventually be in a position to wind down off farm work but it’s looks looking unlikely now! Previous investments had made things easier and I suppose it’s keeping it at it a bit longer as I feel that money spent would have been wasted otherwise

  • Registered Users Posts: 999 ✭✭✭roosky

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  • Registered Users Posts: 999 ✭✭✭roosky

    a lot of lads getting out of sheep or reducing numbers now so the lamb price is likely to hold or maybe increase slightly over the coming years. The big issue is the costs, I done my figures and I’m making about €12 a ewe so it’s a mugs game at the moment. I had the same system 10 years ago and was clearing €50 a ewe. I’m 10 years investing in the farm and I have removed a lot of hardship from it but it’s just not making sense at the current prices. Too much time put in to get €1500 which wouldn’t get you too far in any machinery dealers yard !!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,452 ✭✭✭

    That's the sad reality of it. I think Brian Nicholson ewe margin was 9e per ewe last year. Its very hard to get a decent return with sheep especially the workthat goes with sheep. I am going to unfortunately predict that lowland sheep enterprise will be finished in a couple of years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,207 ✭✭✭weatherbyfoxer

    I'd take that with a pinch of salt to be fair,he was doing near 900 per ha gross margin the year previous

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,662 ✭✭✭Birdnuts

    Indeed its hard to have much optimism - I mentioned here the figures for lamb consumption in the UK since 2000, scary reading plus the post Brexit deals the government there are doing with the likes of Oz could be the final nail in the coffin!!:(

  • Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭Jimbo789

    I see the Teagasc National Lowland Sheep Conference is on in Athlone tomorrow. I haven't been at one of these before but was thinking of going tomorrow because I'm close enough to Athlone.

    Anyone gone to one of these in previous years, think it was worthwhile?

  • Registered Users Posts: 656 ✭✭✭eire23

    Jesus lads, ye are fairly down in the mouth with regards sheep farming.

    Prices have never been as good as the last few years, I'd be getting 30 euro a head average over what my father would have been getting say 6 or 7 years ago. Fertiliser and meal are heading back to nearly what they were with another 15-20 a tonne coming of meal soon I think. Fertiliser is also well back. Theirs grants going for everything, sheep handling pens, fencing, sheds hurdles etc. sheep welfare up to 20 a ewe going forward.

    I looked at organics and I'd have been able to draw roughly 25k a year out of it but with the way lamb prices are currently I dint think it was worth my while going into it. I built a new slatted shed 3 years back, and have 3 other slatted sheds reroofed and converted to plastic slats, 20km of fencing done So i hope I'm well enough set up for the future.The scanner man said people are cutting back big time so im optimistic enough about things going forward.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,207 ✭✭✭weatherbyfoxer

    I'd have to agree with you tbh,on the right ground and right setup a lowland ewe will wean and kill 19 lambs to the ha.On last years average lamb price thats over €2300 per ha on lamb sales alone..obviously there is alot of cost to come out but there is still a half decent margin without massive investment.

    I think more and more lads are having to work off farm more with farm income in general not rising along with the cost of living.Unfortunately a high output sheep system doesn't work when someone is away from the farm most of the time working.One thing to note doe is there will never be a surge in ewe number in Europe and also a bad drought in oz decimated the flock every so often

  • Registered Users Posts: 656 ✭✭✭eire23

    Everything doesn't have to be about figures adding up.

    I know someone that works off farm and put up new 4 bay slatted shed for 50 ewes. It will never pay for itself but he has comfort lambing his ewes and once it's paid for it's there for the rest of his life. If one can afford to build/buy something and it will make life easier it's money well spent.

  • Registered Users Posts: 449 ✭✭joe35

    I agree with this. Making life comfortable us what's about. Why waste money on your house then

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,318 ✭✭✭razor8

    i get what your saying but the other half might have other ideas if the money is available

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  • Registered Users Posts: 610 ✭✭✭Mad about baa baas

    Lambing 24 off to a bad start here. Sponged ewes due Sunday but arrived out to a pair of dead lambs this morning. Then went to a field where I had a few later Lambing ewes.dogs had been in 1 dead ewe 1 shook ewe missing most of a bottom lip .rest seem OK but I'd be worried about the lambs in them

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,199 ✭✭✭Sami23

    With lambing season fast approaching or even underway for some just wondering has anyone managed to source an alternative to Spectam Scour Halt for the coming season ?

    Is there anything similar out there that may help to prevent scour in new born lambs as to be fair it was a great product from my experience anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 449 ✭✭joe35

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,090 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    improved hygiene, feed plenty of high protein ration to the ewes to improve the colostrum, make sure the lambs get colostrum quickly, we never used spectram here and never had more than 1 or 2 ecoli cases, even lambing 550 ewes,

    If the ewes are well fed they'll have good quality colostrum and the lambs will be lively and be able to to get up and suck quickly .

    Grennans are pushing a product called gut guard and it reads well, also they recommend giving it three hours after the first feed which I'd agree with.

    You wouldn't believe the number of farmers that give their lambs bought artificial colostrum BEFORE the lamb has his first feed,

  • Registered Users Posts: 610 ✭✭✭Mad about baa baas


    .at least its outside the house and hopefully that's the end of it

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,328 ✭✭✭DJ98

    Can sheep housing equipment such as feed barriers and walk-through troughs be purchased under any of the tams schemes?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,577 ✭✭✭White Clover

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,199 ✭✭✭Sami23

    That's a disaster hopefully them bloody dogs don't come back.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭Sheep breeder

    We lamb in doors and for the last 4 years as soon as a ewe lambs the lambs put to suckle and given a good drop of biestings and any loose wool around the udder is removed to stop lambs messing about and as soon as possible iodine the navel, find this working very well. Ewes are on nuts and have plenty of milk. Have to feed to have a good supply of milk.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,265 ✭✭✭jfh

    Anyone had issues with milk not coming down, had a few ewes with what looked like decant udders but no colostrum, I had cut back on the nuts as lambs were coming big, moved over to oats now and last few seem OK. Maybe I cut back to protein too much