Owen Farm Services Update – What’s Happening In May

As part of the 5|Agri group, Owen Farm Services have been involved in an Innovate UK project to target selective treatment in sheep.

This Smart Sheep Project aims to treat individual animals rather than the whole flock for parasites such as worms to reduce wormer resistance.  Treating individual animals in this way is a change from normal practice but is backed by at least 6 years’ worth of research and testing by the Mordun Research Institute. This is an 18 month project to see how this works in a commercial environment, we are now 6 months into the project.

Despite the challenges of working together during Covid, 12 farms from across the UK have signed up to be test farmers for the project. The farms are all different. They all have different sizes of flock, different breeds, different landscapes and different weighing set ups.  This to see how the approach of only targeting selective animals works in a range of commercial settings.

So how will this work? EID ear tags are used to identify the animal and predict a target weight based on daily live weight gain. If the animal doesn’t reach the target weight, then the animal is wormed. This approach is vital as whilst there are large range of wormer products on the market, they can all be linked back to 5 drugs. This project is not going to eradicate worms, but instead aims to slow the development of the resistance. This will help the current drugs on the market to work for longer.

Moredun have developed a happy factor algorithm to determine which sheep should be dosed and which do not need to be. This project is a collaboration to develop tools to be used on commercial farms. The algorithm is being incorporated into the Agri- Ignite platform which will calculate a target weight to help to identify those sheep which are happy or sad. This will then link to Tru-test weigh indicators to automatically identify the sheep to be dosed.

We are hoping, covid restrictions allowing, to have farm visits to show how the project works before it finishes next year. For more information contact [email protected]


The IACS deadline is coming up on 15th May. At Owen Farm Services, we’ve nearly finished preparing IACs submission for our clients. If you are not sure what you need to do or need some help, its not too late. Please contact the office on 01461 600540 or email [email protected]


Soil Sampling

Lastly, we are coming into a good time to soil sample your ground. We have been very busy with our custom, low ground pressure vehicle, but we do have some space over the next few months. If you would like to know more about this, please do get in contact with the office.

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