Richard Roderick, Powys
- 250 ha sheep and beef farm
- 1,000 breeding ewes and 260 ewe lambs
- Suffolk and Texel cross mule ewes mated to performance recorded rams
- Finished lambs sold direct to he abattoir
Mr Roderick had little experience of using EID before joining the HCC EID Recording project and had been put off by the cost of the technology and having little knowledge of the equipment that was available.
"I chose to use a stick reader and basic software package and we had borrowed a stick reader to try out beforehand. I am interested in recording ewe replacements throughout their lifetime, as well as recording lamb growth rates. I have found the stick reader easy to operate although the software was not particularly user friendly at the beginning."
Prior to using the stick reader and basic software, Mr Roderick only recorded batch numbers and this was done by hand. Their software provider had to help them to set up the database but the system works well now and has speeded up the process. The equipment has also enabled Mr Roderick to record all problem ewes which will be culled out of the flock.
"The stick reader is nice and easy to use, however I did need support from the manufacturer to ensure that I was getting the best out of the software package. Now that I am more familiar with the software I can download movement records into a standard spreadsheet format."
Mr Roderick is considering upgrading the software package he is currently using so that he can get a more accurate picture of ewe performance and lamb growth rates.
Reflecting on the potential of EID for his business, Mr Roderick comments that: "the stick reader and basic software package has been a very good introduction to the benefits of EID within my sheep enterprise. Looking ahead, we would like to invest in an upgraded software package and an electronic weighing and separating system to aid flock management further. This would further improve our business efficiency, saving us valuable time and providing high quality information on which to base decisions."