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Out of season breeding

In the UK the Poll Dorset/Dorset Horn is well known for being an aseasonal breeder, capable of breeding out of season, with lambing frequently taking place in September and October.

At Signet we are interested in the genetic influences upon seasonal breeding and are greatful to Liz Nabb for completing a comprehensive mini-project on the seasonality of reproduction as part of her AHDB funded PhD.

The Role of Genetics in Reducing Methane Emissions

While carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane are all important greenhouse gases, for sheep producers the most important is methane. Methane is an inevitable by-product from the fermentation process when ruminants convert forage into meat we can consume, often on land unsuited to other forms of food production. The good news is there are already a number of ways that selective breeding can reduce the amount of methane produced by the flock relative to the amount of lamb produced.

Signet client survey

The results of a recent Signet survey show the value breeders place on the Signet service; 94% of breeders would recommend Signet’s performance recording services to other pedigree breeders.

Over 70% of Signet clients are also seeing improved financial returns through their involvement in performance recording; with Signet’s data helping them to reach new customers, price rams and improve on farm performance.

Neogen Support Creation of Charollais Genomic Archive

Charollais Sires have made semen available from 79 Charollais rams that were used within the former Sire Reference Scheme. These rams have produced over 13,700 Signet recorded progeny. A significant investment was required to genotype these animals. AHDB provided the initial funding and an extremely generous offer of support and in-kind sponsorship from Neogen enabled us to finish the job. By the close of 2021, we will have genotyped 30 rams on the leading 600K high density genotype and completed a 50K genotype on the remaining 49.

Recording Crossbred Sheep

Selling rams for breeding is all about genetics. In recent years, farmers have become more aware of the benefits of adapting breeds to meet the needs of their system. To help identify the best sheep to use for breeding, which will improve the following year’s lamb crop, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) have been produced. 


This article explains how the Harding family developed the Aberblack; a modern, hybrid terminal sire.

New Signet Publication

By performance recording with Signet breeders can add value to their sheep enterprise in two ways, increasing ram sales and enhancing flock productivity.

In an era where livestock producers use genetic information to make informed decisions, it is important not to be left behind. Signet data gives ram buyers the confidence to invest in the best.

Whether you sell from home, auction or online, clearly it pays to record. Why wait? Join Signet today and start unlocking the potential of your flock

BSAS article - Implications and fall out from Brexit on Animal Science

Jason Simms sat down with BSAS Vice-President Kim Matthews to discuss the implications and fallout as a result of Brexit on the animal science sector and what the future holds going forward.  To read more about the challenges and opportunities this provides click here This article was written by BSAS the British Society for Animal Science. For more information on BSAS head t ...

North York Moors Swaledale Project completed

In 2017, a group of 6 North Yorkshire Swaledale breeders, with the help of AHDB Beef & Lamb, Signet Breeding Services and Kate Phillips, set out to prove that existing technologies could be used in the hills and uplands to improve the performance of their flocks. This has included genetic evaluation and meat yield assessment. The project has demonstrated that performance r ...

Cataloging Services for Beef Clients

As part of the developments associated with our new webpage listing cattle for sale, Signet clients can now generate their own sale catalogues. 

Beef Clients Get Access to Carcase Trait EBVs

A new web link on an animal's breeding report, now means beef producers can go directly to the AHDB National Beef Evaluation and see a series of new breeding values. The breeding values were created as part of the Carcase Traits project, which pulls together data from BCMS, Breed Societies and abattoirs to generate EBVs for traits like Carcase Weight, Conformation and Days to Slaughter.