We farm sucklers and sheep just outside of Enniscrone. The sheep are a mix of purebred and crossed Lleyns.
The purebred flock was started when I was 10 or 11 and we have only begun to build this section of the flock back up after numbers dropped off.
I started shearing with a neighbour in May last year. I have kept it up during the weekends over my college placement and have managed to get a couple of my own customers this year.
I shore about 300 ewes in my free time over the past two weeks. Some farmers were very rushed to get shorn after the bad weather in May.
I would not be too worried about getting sheep shorn too early. The problem with maggots could return at the back end of the summer if wool regrowth is too strong.
The Lleyn is an improved Welsh hill breed, well suited to Irish sheep systems. We find the Lleyn to be a prolific, easily managed and good mothering breed.
They are typically a ewe you would handle less than the more traditional or continental breeds, as they tend to keep themselves in good condition throughout the year.
I am on the third year professional work experience programme for my UCD animal science course.
So far, I have trialled methane reduction strategies in Teagasc Athenry, helped out with calving a herd of Stabiliser cattle and worked on a 240–cow dairy herd.
I am on a pig placement in Co Cavan at the moment. I would definitely say the piggery is not for me.
I prefer the outdoor work with cattle and sheep, even when milking you are only inside for just over an hour at a time.
I had planned on travelling to a sheep farm on the south island of New Zealand over my placement, but the pandemic disruptions have prevented me from doing so.
I might try to get over and see the large-scale system once I finish my degree and global travel has returned to normal.