Sheep farming

THE LOWDOWN ON THE SPRING RISE: SHEEP FARMERS COME TOGETHER ON TWITTER

Knowledge sharing is a wonderful thing. Recently we reached out to members of the sheep farming community and invited them to take part in a discussion around the challenges of the spring rise. The response was fantastic. Sheep farmers and industry figures from across the country came together on Twitter to share invaluable insights that are sure to make an impact this spring.

What did the participants think of it all? Well, @ballybubbock put it well when she said “it was great to connect with other sheep farmers and practitioners, a wonderful idea and something that we’ll look forward to doing again.”

The discussion began in a typically British way; by discussing the weather. Responding to what they liked most about spring, tweets mentioned the sunny weather and the joy of watching the sheep play in the sunshine. Predictably, the least favourite thing about spring was also the weather; rainy weather to be exact. Rain creating muddy conditions on the soil that drags lambs down and chafes ewes’ udders was mentioned, along with the concern about grass durability.

A particular worry with regards to spring was of course, parasites, with Nematodirus battus and fluke emerging as some of the biggest concerns. Tweets discussed the best way to protect against worm infections during the spring rise. Worming, especially among twin and triplet-bearing ewes, is helpful. Also discussed was the need to make sure lambs are well fed. Lambs suffering from malnutrition are more susceptible to disease and have poorer immune systems to control for parasites.

The Parasite Watch Map was mentioned several times in the chat for its usefulness as an ‘early warning system’ against parasite outbreaks. You can get involved with Parasite Watch too if you’re seeing issues or high worm egg counts, then share the information so everyone can get the most out of the forecast.

The chat was a huge success and many participants are already asking when the next discussion will take place. After such a positive experience, we’re sure the conversation will continue. Watch this space for details and we hope to see you at the next Twitter chat.