Ewe from Rhiwgriafol flock

Sheep farmers in Wales can learn about nutritional strategies for their flocks throughout the production year at a new Lantra Accredited workshop added to the Farming Connect animal health and welfare training programme.

Matching diet to ewe and lamb nutritional requirements at critical times of the year will ensure increased efficiency and productivity, says Becky Summons, Farming Connect Animal Health and Welfare (AH&W) and E-learning Manager.

With this in mind Farming Connect has introduced a new AH&W training module, Feeding the Flock for Optimal Performance, which will be delivered by approved local vet practices throughout Wales.

“Workshop attendees will work through the nutritional requirements of the flock, focussing on the critical times during the year,’’ said Ms Summons.

The themes of health planning, responsible use of antibiotics and anthelmintics, and the environmental benefits of improving productivity, will be integrated throughout the course, she added. 

Course attendees will gain an understanding of the basic principles of how to measure and assess body condition score (BCS) in sheep on a five-point scale and how to identify the critical points in the production cycle when incorrect nutrition and BCS may have a detrimental effect on efficiency and production.

Other learning outcomes include understanding how decisions made about nutrition affect the productivity of the flock, and how those decisions should be made on a farm-by-farm basis and based on the condition score of the flock and available feed.

Attendees will also gain an appreciation on the role of health planning with regard to metabolic disease testing and trace element supplementation and an understanding the environmental benefit of good nutritional management.

This course is fully funded but to qualify for the funding all attendees must be registered with Farming Connect and complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP).

Workshop attendance will be logged on the attendee's 'Storfa Sgiliau' CPD record along with a Lantra Awards’ 'certificate of attendance'.

Contact your local development officer or visit the Farming Connect website https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/ to find out more.