Challenge description

Description of the Challenge This challenge requires the use of technology to reduce the number of lambs which die every year. The two major causes of lamb mortality are exposure to the cold and infection. Low cost technologies which could identify sub-optimal environmental conditions for lambs could improve the efficiency of the sector

Across Ireland, lamb mortality is approximately 10%, this is a major cost to the farmer and a welfare issue. Exposure to the cold is a leading cause of mortality in lambs, to solve this, a piece of technology (e.g. a sheep collar placed on sentinel animals) could monitor environmental conditions and either alert the farmer or activate a heating unit. Infection is another cause of mortality which has proven difficult to solve with technology. Some possible solutions could include a sensor to measure airborne spores or a unit which could be used to test bedding material for certain types of bacteria such as E. coli.

Fundamental requirements and constraints

The uptake of technology in the sheep sector has been somewhat limited but this is due to the cost and the effectiveness of current technologies. If a solution is to work for this challenge it must be capable of delivering a return on investment (ROI) for the farmer. In this particular solution the ROI can be calculated by the number of lambs it can save. The sensors created for this challenge must have a long battery life (at least 1 year) and be robust enough to last in such a harsh environment as a farm

Is your organisation available to
  • Interact with potential solutions providers
Digital Trend Map
  • Data Economy
  • Sustainable Intensification
Country Ireland

Contact informations

Name of the organisation Sheep Ireland
Brief overview

Improving the genetic gain of the Irish sheep flock through improved selection

Contact organisation