10 Episodes

By: OviCast

OviCast is the Teagasc Sheep podcast. Presented by Ciaran Lynch it brings you the latest advice, insights and technical updates for the sheep industry. Visit the show page at: https://www.teagasc.ie/animals/sheep/ovicast-sheep-podcast/

Nematodirus forecast 2024
Last Wednesday at 9:34 AM

Dr. James O’Shaughnessy from the Department of Agriculture’s Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in Backweston joins us on the latest OviCast to discuss this year’s Nematodirus forecast. 


James first explains the condition, symptoms and we discuss the high risk periods around the country. 


We discuss treatment, some of the factors that may lead to a higher challenge on farms this spring, and we also discuss the potential risk of concurrent infection with coccidia.


For more information on the forecast can be found here : https://bit.ly/Nematodi...

Managing the challenging grazing conditions

For this week’s OviCast, we discuss grazing management with Dr Philip Creighton. 


With the challenging conditions we discuss the grazing situation around the country, opening covers and the impact of delayed fertiliser application on grass growth. 


Philip discusses managing supplies, targeted supplementation where supplies are tight and grazing strategies that can be implemented in the coming weeks. We also discuss fertiliser application rates when conditions allow for grazing and silage. 


We finish up with Philip discussing having preventative measures in place for grass tetany due to the curr...

Sheep trade update

Sheep and Schemes editor from the Irish Farmers Journal, Darren Carty, is on this week’s OviCast to talk about the current sheep trade. 


With prices hitting new highs we chat about the trade at the moment. 


Darren talks to us about the hogget trade this spring, the start of the early lamb hitting the market and niche markets for milk lamb. 


We discuss what’s driving trade, what’s happening on international markets and speculate for what may be in store in the coming months. 



Preventing grass tetany post turnout

Grass tetany is one of the challenges in early spring and on this week’s OviCast, Teagasc Sheep Specialist, Damian Costello, talks to us about this in more detail. 


Damian explains how it occurs, the pre-disposing factors and high risk periods. 


We discuss the symptoms and treatment in acute cases and Damian describes the various preventative measures and how these can be implemented on farms.  


Read more about it here:



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Hill Flocks: feeding & health advice in the run up to lambing

Sheep specialist, Michael Gottstein, is on this week’s OviCast to discuss some timely advice for hill flocks in the run up to lambing. 


Michael discusses some of the key areas to focus on this spring highlighting how ewe condition is a challenge. 


We discuss the basics of nutrition and some of the feeding strategies that might be employed. 


We finish up on to discuss some health areas that require attention in the lead into lambing.  


For more episodes from the OviCast podcast, visit the...

How to correctly set up a fertiliser spreader

When focusing on improving fertiliser use efficiently, one often overlooked aspect for the return on investment is the fertiliser spreader itself. 


For this episode of OviCast I’m joined by Teagasc machinery specialist, Francis Quigley, to take us through some of the practical considerations around this piece of equipment. 


Francis explains many aspects from basic maintenance checks before the season commences, to correct set-up on the tractor and its impact that can have on the spread pattern. 


We also discuss calibration, use of technology and the impact of the o...

Scanning, condition score and preparing for lambing on the BETTER farms

For this week’s OviCast, we catch up with Dr Frank Campion to get an update on the BETTER farm sheep flocks. 

We discuss this year’s scanning results, dealing with issues and benchmarking performance. We move on to ewe condition score on the farms at scanning and since tupping and discuss the practical steps farmers can take to manage this. 

We finish up discussing grass supplies, preparing for lambing and culling problem ewes. 

For more episodes from the OviCast podcast, visit the show page at:

Vet lab submissions

For this week’s OviCast, we’re joined by Seamus Fagan from the Department of Agriculture’s regional veterinary lab in Athlone. 


As a follow-on from his talk at the recent Sheep Conference, we discuss the importance of records to highlight flock health issues on farm and to help provide a better flock history, particularly in the case of abortion. We discuss the submission process and the timeline for results. 


We also discuss some of the challenges seen in the lab this spring with a notable fluke challenge present on farms. 



Completing a profit monitor

For this week’s OviCast, I’m joined by my Teagasc colleague, Catherine Egan, host of the Beef Edge podcast, as we discuss financial management tips on drystock farms with Teagasc Financial Specialist, Kevin Connolly.

Kevin first explains the benefits of completing a profit monitor and we discuss what data is required and the ways to simplify this process. 

Kevin takes us through the information the profit monitor can generate and how it can be used to highlight key areas to focus on, allowing farmers to benchmark their own farm performance. 

We finish up wit...

Farmer Focus: Michael Forde on managing a sheep & beef system on a fragmented farm

For this week’s OviCast we head west to Corrandulla, Co. Galway to hear from sheep and beef farmer Michael Forde who is a participant on the BETTER farm programme. 

Michael first discusses his farming system and some of the challenges of a managing a fragmented farm. 

We chat about the impact of a difficult 2023 on lamb performance, sales and ewe condition and how he managed the flock this winter. 

Plus we discuss the steps he has taken to address ewe condition since housing, this year’s scanning results and his feeding plans for ewe...