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List of participants:

  • Tim Keady (Researcher)
  • Alan Bohan (Researcher)
  • Dwayne Shiels (Researcher)
  • Daniel Hession (Researcher)
  • Damien Costello (Agricultural advisor)
  • John Brooks (Farmer/ sheep breeder)
  • John Renehan  (Farmer/ sheep breeder)
  • Seamus Fagan (Veterinarian)
  • Michael Crosse (Farmer (dairy sheep))
  • Simon Byrne (Farmer/ sheep breeder)
  • John O’Rourke (Veterinarian)
  • Ciara Long (Sheep Ireland)
  • Eamon Wall (Sheep Ireland)
  • Darren Carty (Sheep specialist, Irish farmers journal)
  • Ken Matthews  (Farmer/ sheep breeder)
  • Anthony McShane (Farmer/ sheep breeder)
  • John Curley (Farmer/ sheep breeder)
  • James Dunne (Agricultural advisor)
  • John Lynskey (Farmer/ sheep breeder)

Documents given during the meeting:

  • Supporting documents for solutions purchased
  • Each participant received a SheepNet cap

The workshop objectives were:

  • Feedback from the SheepNet international workshop in Romania in Timisoara
  • Presentation and discussion of the solutions bought by the Irish delegation in Timisoara
  • Ranking of solutions
  • Presentation and discussion of Irish tips and tricks
  • Ranking of tips and tricks
  • Feedback from Oceania tour
  • Future plans and aims of SheepNet

 

Tim Keady welcomed the participants and introduced SheepNet’s objectives and the aims and agenda for the national workshop.

For further information see: http://sheepnet.network/node/8

 

 

 

 

 

Feedback from Timisoara

The 2nd SheepNet international workshop was held at the Banat University in Timisoara, from the 15-17th November. The key points of the workshop were:

  • Presentation on Romanian sheep production,
  • Farms visits
  • Discussion and exchange of the 55 solutions in four solution markets covering reproduction, gestation, lamb mortality (animal) and lamb mortality (management).

Alan Bohan gave a presented on Romanian sheep production, as well as the farms visits. The presentation was followed by a lengthy discussion with a major input from the Irish delegation that attended the transnational workshop in Timisoara.

The Irish solutions presented in Timisoara

A total of eight Irish solutions were presented in Timisoara. The solutions were presented in four solution markets under the headings of reproduction, gestation, lamb mortality (management) and lamb mortality (animal). The Irish solutions proved very popular in Timisoara with all solutions sold with each country buying at least one solution. The solutions presented and the countries that purchased them are presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Irish solutions presented in Timisoara and the purchasing countries

Topic

Solution

FR

HU

IT

RO

SP

TU

UK

Reproduction

Body condition score effect on productivity

 

x

 

 

 

 

x

Use of the ram effect to compact lambing

x

x

 

x

 

x

x

Gestation

Silage quality effect on concentrate requirement

x

x

x

x

 

 

 

Feeding according to litter size

x

x

x

 

 

 

 

Lamb mortality (management)

Completion of a lambing inventory

x

x

x

 

 

x

 

Artificial rearing of lambs

 

 

 

x

 

x

 

Lamb mortality (animal)

Optimum lamb birth weight

 

x

x

x

x

x

x

Litter size effect on mortality

x

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

The Irish solutions are described on the SheepNet website, under knowledge reservoir section: http://sheepnet.network/knowledge-reservoir

Solutions purchased by the Irish delegation

Nine solutions were purchased by the Irish delegation in Timisoara. Following an STWG meeting five of these solutions were retained and four rejected as is was deemed they did not contain any new knowledge for the Irish sheep industry or were not practical for implementation in Irish production systems. The purchased solutions were presented using a PowerPoint presentation and supporting documentation was circulated and supporting videos were played. Following the presentation questions and discussion was invited from the floor and many queries and observations were raised. The five solutions were then laid out for ranking with each person in attendance allowed three votes. The purchased solutions were ranked as can be seen in Table 2, the farmers and others ranked the solutions separately.

 

 

 

Table 2. Ranking of purchased solutions

Number

Code

Solutions

Farmers

Other

Votes

Rank

39

C8

Paper tally of lamb losses

8

7

15

1

19

B3

Health control and abortion

6

6

12

2

3

A2

Body condition scoring kit

5

3

8

3

47

D2

Testing colostrum quality

3

3

6

4

46

D1

Colostrum management guidelines

1

2

3

5

 

Solutions that will be tested

During the meeting, the participants were asked to identify any solutions they would like to test on their own farm in the next year. Table 3 outlines what farmers are going to implement each of the purchased solutions:

 

Table 3. Farmers and advisors that will implement the purchased solutions

Number

Code

Solutions

To be tested by

39

C8

Paper tally of lamb losses

John Curley

19

B3

Health control and abortion

Michael Crosse

3

A2

Body condition scoring kit

Damien Costello

47

D2

Testing colostrum quality

John Brooks

46

D1

Colostrum management guidelines

Ken Matthews

 

 

Tips and Tricks

A total of 19 tips and Tricks were presented to aid the implementation of the Irish solutions. Tips and Tricks were presented that members of the workshop use on their own farms to facilitate improved ewe productivity. The tips and tricks were presented on PowerPoint with the farmer presenting their own tips and tricks. Following discussion of the Tips and Tricks, A3 posters of all the tips and tricks, including pictures and description, were placed around the meeting room. Each person received 10 votes to pick their top ten Tips and tricks. The results of that vote and the final ranking of the tips and tricks are presented in Table 4.

 

 

 

 

 

Table 4. Ranking of tips and tricks presented at the Irish national workshop

Tips & tricks

Votes

Rank

Tips & tricks

Votes

Rank

Feeding according to litter size

16

1

Sheepmate

9

11

High feed value silage

15

2

Artificially rearing lambs

8

12

Lambing inventory

13

3

Lameness treatment tube

8

13

Improved ewe identification

13

4

Wet foster protocol

7

14

Lambing data on pens

12

5

Creep grazing gate

4

15

Optimum lamb birth weight

11

6

Portable water supply

4

16

How to body condition score

10

7

Sheep staller

1

17

Fostering bucket

10

8

Lamb catching net

0

18

Ram effect

10

9

Dealing with large teats

0

19

Water supply to lambing pens

9

10

 

 

 

 

 

Communication

 

Tim Keady closed the meeting by highlighting the different means of communication used by SheepNet and provided links to all platforms to all in attendance. All participants were encouraged to register on the SheepNet website to receive regular updates and newsletters.

The different means of communication used by SheepNet are:

To receive the regular SheepNet newsletter, it is advised to create an online account on the SheepNet website. http://sheepnet.network/user/login

All the solutions presented during the meeting are available on our SheepNet website, and the material can be downloaded.

 

 

 

Photos of the Irish national workshop 17th May 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back row (left to right): Darren Carty (Irish farmers’ journal), John Brooks (Sheep farmer), John Renehan (Sheep farmer), Alan Bohan (Teagasc), Eamon Wall (Sheep Ireland), Damien Costello (Teagasc), Ken Matthews (Sheep farmer), Anthony McShane (Sheep farmer), John Curley (Sheep farmer), James Dunne (Teagasc), and John Lynskey (Sheep farmer).

Front row (left to right): Seamus Fagan (Vet), Michael Crosse (Sheep farmer), Simon Byrne (Sheep farmer), John O’Rourke (Vet), Ciara Long (Sheep Ireland) and Tim Keady (Teagasc).

 

 

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