OPERATING independently since 2010, Denis O’Riordan, Coosane, Bantry, is one of the region’s most progressive young sheep farmers. He has a flock of 300 ewes and seven suckler cows.
His primary block of land is at the top of Bantry’s Borlin Valley. In all, he has around 260 hectares of mountainous land.
He’s a part of the Teagasc Better Farm Scheme, which sees him introducing different sheep breeds to his flock and, subsequently, monitoring the performance of lambs and their weight gain, etc. His flock primarily comprises Scottish Blackface with breeds like Crossed Swaledale, Lanark and Suffolk being introduced.
In another progressive departure in collaboration with Teagasc, Denis electronically tags all his new-born lambs and they are weighed at intervals to monitor their progress over a period of time. This endeavour provides important information to inform his future decision-making.
He breeds lambs to sell – mainly store lambs for further finishing. His future plans include increasing the output of his flock, e.g. rather than increasing the actual flock, to produce more lambs from the same amount of ewes.
Aged 37, Denis celebrated his marriage earlier this summer to public health nurse Esther and the pair are only recently returned from honeymoon.