Maurice and Marie McHenry will host the hill sheep farm walk on the 14th August. Sheep farm walks on how to improve performance

Two AgriSearch sheep farm walks will be held on the 13th and 14th August, organized jointly by AFBI and CAFRE. Two sessions will be run (afternoon and evening), with tours leaving the farmyard at 2pm and 6.30pm sharp. 

 

Date

Farmers name and address

Wednesday 13th August 2014

Crosby Cleland

21 Greens Rd

Saintfield

BT24 7EE

Thursday 14th August 2014

Maurice McHenry and family The Parks Farm

134 Whitepark Road

Ballintoy

BT54 6ND

 

The farm walks cover both lowland production systems (Crosby Cleland) and hill production systems (Maurice McHenry). Each of the host farmers currently participates in on-farm research with AFBI, Hillsborough, funded by the UK government through DARD and by NI farmers through AgriSearch. The farm walks will therefore provide an excellent opportunity to discuss the research programmes with the host farmer and staff from AFBI, AgriSearch and CAFRE.  The main topics to be covered at both events include updates on the benefits of crossbred ewes for improved production efficiency, grassland management, feeding strategies of ewes pre-tupping and health aspects including how to better diagnose and treat lameness.  Systems available to sheep producers to record their flock performance will be discussed, including a demonstration of EID systems.   Finally, at Maurice McHenry’s hill farm, a stop on hill heather habitat will discuss the importance of sheep grazing for the environment.

 

Maurice, Marie and their son Robert McHenry farm on 120 ha, including 93 ha of moorland.  The flock currently consists of 210 crossbred ewes and 43 replacement ewes, lambing indoors in March/April.  Sire breeds used on the farm in the past 2 years include Scottish Blackface, Swaledale, Lleyn, Highlander, Texel and Suffolk.  Maurice’s priority is to have a labour efficient, easy-care system, with improved prolificacy and lambing ease.  To achieve this, he closely monitors his flock performance using an EID system, thus enabling him to inform his selection and management strategies based on individual performances.    

 

Crosby Cleland has a flock of 700 ewes and 220 breeding replacements, on 170 acres of grassland.  Half of those ewes are pure breeds, mostly Lleyn but also some Highlander and Primera. The remaining ewes comprise a maternal composite flock using Highlander, Lleyn and Texel (the latter as part of on ongoing trial at AFBI) and a flock put to a Primera terminal sire.  Crosby’s key objectives are to have a labour efficient, easy-care system and to improve prolificacy, growth rates and lamb output per ha.  His management decisions are primarily based on individual performances, recorded using EID.

 

A warm welcome is extended to all sheep producers to attend these events (all signposted from the nearest village/town).  For biosecurity, please wear clean clothes and footwear.