Irish Independent - Farming - - FARM OUR -

THE LONG dark nights give me time to re­flect on the year and also to at­tend sheep group meet­ings and gath­er­ings.

I re­cently at­tended the 30th an­niver­sary din­ner dance of the South Mayo Qual­ity Lamb pro­ducer group which I was in­volved with from day one.

At the time it was one of the first groups of its type in the west. It is a tes­ta­ment to all in­volved in the group that it is still go­ing strong to this day.

Pro­ducer groups like this and Mayo Black­face group are very pop­u­lar with farmers and es­pe­cially with part time farmers.

They are con­ve­nient in terms of trans­port to the fac­to­ries and the group work out a price and deal for the farmers and mem­bers of the group.

The lambs that I put in the shed for fin­ish­ing have thrived well on a nearly all-meal diet. They are get­ting a small amount of hay as a sup­ply of roughage and they are on straw bed­ding. When this is topped up they also have a nib­ble at it too.

I had no is­sues with di­ges­tive up­sets as the lambs were built up slowly on the meal out­side be­fore go­ing in­doors for the fi­nal push.

A batch of 40 lambs went last week. At the time of writ­ing I haven’t any kill sheets back but I’d ex­pect the lambs to have a good kill-out per­cent­age as they were nicely fleshed and weighed well. The re­main­ing lambs will be all gone by Christ­mas.

I could have sent some more as they have the flesh but as the price is ris­ing I’m in no panic to sell. They should fin­ish in to heav­ier weights. Once the lambs are gone the sheds will be power-washed

Tom Staunton farms in Tour­makeady, Co Mayo

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