Sheep course to help farmers boost productivity

Sheep course to help farmers boost productivity

A new course to help sheep farmers, shepherds, and smallholders better protect and increase their flock productivity has been launched by the Royal Veterinary College.

The Flockmaster course is designed for both commercial and small-scale sheep farmers, shepherds and smallholders with the aim of sharing and expanding their knowledge and improving their practices.

Throughout the course, participants will have the opportunity to improve their practical skills and knowledge relating to the whole sheep production cycle. This includes selecting animals for purchase and breeding, tupping, pregnancy and lambing, to optimising lamb survival, growth rates and production.

Starting in July 2022, participants can take part in four sessions to build their knowledge. Although designed to run as a series, the sessions are also independent of one another to enable sheep keepers to take part in the areas of most relevance to them, even if they are unable to attend the whole course.

James Patrick Crilly, Lecturer in Small Ruminant Health and Flock Management at the RVC said: “As part of the farm animal team at the RVC, I am delighted we are now offering this course. Through the sheep year, it will provide participants with timely and relevant skills and knowledge to improve the health and productivity of their flock.

“We have seen firsthand how some of these conditions can inhibit flock health and production so by further educating both novice and experienced sheep farmers, shepherds, and smallholders, the cumulative effect of even small changes in flock management can effect great improvements in performance.”

The sessions will run from 10 am to 5 pm and will involve practical sessions with the RVC’s Boltons Park Farm sheep flock. For more information, interested parties can visit