With most of its members running sheep for meat production, it made a nice change from the norm when the National Sheep Association (NSA) gave away a top prize to a member running a sheep milking enterprise instead.Thomas Garland set up a milking flock four years ago and currently milks 500 Friesland and Friesland cross Poll Dorset ewes on his farm in Langport, Somerset. He was delighted to win a 3in1 Advantage Feeder, the third of six feeders that NSA is giving away this year as part of a membership recruitment campaign.
The prize draw is open to all new NSA members, as well as existing members who refer a friend or neighbour to sign up. Mr Garland joined NSA earlier in 2014 but did not expect to be the recipient of a new feeder, supplied by Advantage Feeders, just a few months later.
Mr Garland says: “I have looked at the feeders in the past and thought they looked good, so it was great to win something that will be really useful. I think it will be handy to feed our replacement ewe lambs, as we supplement feed them at turnout right through the summer. Currently we just trough feed but this could save a lot time and backache! It will also be interesting to see how the lambs respond to it with a view to supplementary feeding our ewes at tupping.”
In partnership with his girlfriend Helen, Mr Garland holds a Farm Business Tenancy at Burton dairy farm. Much of the land is in Higher Level Stewardship. There are 100 replacements ewe lambs in his flock, homebred from his March and April-lambing ewes. Two other blocks of ewes are lambed in November and January but these are sponged and put to terminal sires. All lambs are artificially reared from two days of age and anything not identified as a suitable replacement sold as young stores. Milk from the ewes is sold to five customers in the south of England.
Bryan Griffiths, NSA South West Region Chairman, says “I was delighted to present Thomas with the feeder and welcome him into the NSA. His energy and enthusiasm for an imaginative sheep enterprise was compelling.”
3in1 feeders from Advantage Feeders give control over the amount of supplement stock consume. They can save time and money, reduce the health risks of feeing high corn-based diets and prevent mis-mothering at lambing time. There are three more 3in1 feeders to win in the NSA prize draw. Unsuccessful entries roll over from one draw to the next, so the sooner a name goes in the hat the more chances that person has to win.