Workshop will help manage sheep fertility

Monday 8th August 2022 6:00 am
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Veterinary surgeons Richard Kemp (centre), Mo Kemp (left) and Kris Henry (right) of Calcoed Vets, Holywell, are one of the approved teams delivering Farming Connect’s Animal Health & Welfare ‘flock fertility management’ training workshops ()

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Farming Connect has added an additional module to its fully-funded Animal Health & Welfare (AH&W) training workshop provision.

‘Flock fertility management’ is being rolled out throughout Wales this summer, bringing the total number of workshop topics currently available up to 18.

With all Farming Connect AH&W course content developed in conjunction with NADIS (the National Animal Disease Information Service) and delivered by participating veterinary practices throughout Wales, the interactive workshops will be available either in regional face-to-face group workshops (lasting up to three hours), or online.

Richard Kemp of Holywell-based Calcoed Vets, one of the veterinary practices that is delivering the training, explains that the aim of the new module is to help all sheep farmers improve and maintain animal performance and productivity.

“A strong emphasis will be put on disease awareness and prevention, including buying-in and quarantine protocols.

“We will also look at the importance of record-keeping to assess ewe, ram and lamb performance and guide management decisions,” said Mr Kemp.

Attendees will learn how to identify and manage all the key issues that impact on fertility, including infectious diseases, parasite control, environmental factors and nutrition with health planning, biosecurity and the responsible use of antibiotics and anthelmintics also an integral part of every workshop.

“We want farmers to understand the serious economic implications of breeding and fertility issues, in terms of lambing percentages and ultimately lambs sold.

“We would like to see more farmers assessing rams six to eight weeks ahead of tupping in order to identify possible fertility problems.”

“Ewe body condition score should be a factor in weaning decisions in order not to jeopardise the ewe’s fertility the following season,” said Mr Kemp.

The workshop will also address the importance of good and effective pre-tupping management of both ewes and rams. This would include a strict culling policy for ewes, ram health and fertility checks well in advance of the tupping season, necessary treatments, and understanding actions that impact on fertility.

To find out which veterinary practices will be delivering these AH&W training modules and for locations and dates, visit the skills and training section at www.gov.wales/farmingconnect or call your local development officer.

Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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