Flock Management

Software from TGM Software Solutions Limited is fully compatible with the Shepherdsmate handling system. There are 2 options for the software.

When an Agrident EID reader is purchased with the Shepherdsmate equipment, basic recording software, AgriDataTransfer (ADT) is provided free of charge with the reader. This allows weights recorded to be downloaded to a Windows computer. The weights report, when downloaded via the ADT software, includes we last weight, days since the last weighing and weight gain per day since the last weighing. A user may apply a filter to the data and set an alert on the filtered animals, so next time the EID reader is used, it will identify those sheep that have an alert set, for example, poor weight gain. Basic management recording can also be done using AgriDataTransfer, for example, record births, with a number of lambs, lamb details including EID, sex of lamb, weight etc. AgriDataTransfer presents this data management in a format similar to spreadsheet format.

The 2nd software option is Select Sheepware (branded Kingswood Sheep in ROI). Select Sheepware is much more advanced than AgridataTransfer, performing the mathematics necessary to calculate 56 day and 90 days weights. These are linked back to dams and sire, allowing the user to produce performance reports for ewes, rams, groups, breeds etc. Select Sheepware builds up a full life history for each animal and the performance reports allow the user to average performance over a number of years, to find, for example, the sheep with the highest average 90-day weights of lambs over a 3 year period.

William has been breeding pedigree Île De France, Texel and Suffolk sheep for over 30 years on his farm in County Kilkenny in the southeast of Ireland. The pedigree flock is run along with a 600 ewe Lambplus recorded flock of Easycare ewes, with all ewes lambing in March. The easycare ewes scanned with twin lambs are lambed outdoors. Ewes are fed a grass-based diet, the only concentrates used are fed to triplet rearing ewes and the lambs of ewe lambs.

William aims to produce top quality, hardy pedigree rams that will work well in commercial flocks, producing high quality fast growing lambs. This is achieved by selecting sires with good growth rates and muscle depth as well as following a strict culling policy.

The Texel and Suffolk flock was consistently ranked one or two for growth rate under the Department of Agriculture's LMI scheme and continues to produce Rams with 5 stars for Maternal and Terminal production in the Sheep Ireland lamb plus program. New Zeland genetics have been introduced to breed hardier more vigorous Texels and Suffolks.

Single Sire mating is practiced and lambs are Tagged at birth and recorded using an Agrident AWR 300. Lambs are scanned and weighed at weaning with only the very best retained to sell as Shearlings the following year. It is therefore vital for me to have as much information as possible and the software has given me the level of analysis that I need. William says “I've been using Select Sheepware since 2013 and have found it to be a very valuable addition to the management of our sheep enterprise. All of the information for the Sheep Ireland LambPlus scheme is recorded in the Program and data exports to and imports from Sheep Ireland are straightforward. Replacements are Identified using a combination of both the Select Sheepware reports and the Sheep Ireland Stars

William Hutchinson, Irish Pedigree Sheep, Kilkenny (www.pedigreesheep.com)