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Farmer’s Diary: 13 the magic number this breeding season

Edward Earle, Gorey, Co. Wexford, works as a quality engineer and farms over 300 ewes in partnership with his parents.

As we want to keep ewes out until mid-December, weather-permitting, we have created breeding groups earlier than other years.

In response to recent weather events, we have divided our ewes into smaller groups, which will ease pressure on paddocks.

Rams will be introduced to the pastures around October 17th. We probably are a little different than others when it comes to breeding with the number of breeding groups.

Ewes are grouped depending on ram breed and an ability to produce replacements. In total, there are 13 different groups for breeding this year.

Some will think this is a lot of work, but we find it works for us.

Immature and mature fluke

We fluke dosed all ewes last week as well. We have taken this action as since June the weather has been wet with occasional dry spells.

Rainfall and warm conditions are ideal for mud snails which are key in the fluke’s life cycle.

Our enterprise is a heavy farm and fluke is a known issue. We dosed ewes and ewe lamb replacements with a product that targets immature and mature fluke.

It important at this time of year to choose a product that targets immature fluke as these are the boyos that cause the damage to the liver as the immature fluke burrow through the liver.

This is a topic that was covered on the Teagasc Ovicast podcast recently and is well worth a listen.

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