Average herd size for a beef breeding herd is significantly smaller than the dairy herd, at an average of about 15 cows, but none-the-less, the workload and skillsets required by beef farmers is similar to their dairy farmer counterparts. A considerable number of beef farmers in Ireland may be “part-time farmers”, and have to juggle the demands of the busy calving periods alongside their off-farm job.
Average sheep flocks in Ireland stand at about 100 ewes, with some exceptions exceeding 500 ewes. For a variety of reasons, it is necessary for newborn lambs, along with their mothers, to be turned out to pasture within a few days of birth. Challenges can arise for sheep farmers in this regards when weather conditions are less than favourable around this time.
A further common feature of Irish farms will be the prevalence of mixed-farming enterprises, i.e. dual beef and sheep production, or dual beef, sheep and arable cropping. Such farmers consequently have a mixture of all the challenges outlined above.
At this time, these livestock farmers are working incredibly long hours. Whilst technology has helped through the use of cameras and calving alerts etc, it can never replace the need for caring and vigilant farmers, that have the health and welfare of their animals to the forefront at all times. These hard-working farmers deserve our appreciation and acknowledgement at this exceptionally busy time!
If you would like to learn more about Irish dairy farming or wish to take a tour with us and visit such farms in person, then contact us today on firstname.lastname@example.org or +353 87 2227869.