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