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Improving predictions of accuracy for hill sheep

SRUC research looking at accuracy values in the National Hill Sheep Breeding Evaluation has found a better way to account for the impact of genotyping on the accuracy values that are published for EBVs and Indexes.

Major update to the Sussex Cattle Evaluation

18,000 Sussex cattle records have been added to Signet’s National Sussex Cattle Breeding Evaluation, the inclusion of this data will strengthen genetic linkage between herds and enhance our assessment of less well recorded animals.

Breed for CH4nge project update June 2024

Breed for CH4NGE: is a three-year initiative funded through DEFRA’s Farming Innovation Programme. The goal is to breed productive, efficient maternal sheep with a naturally low carbon footprint.

The value of Computed Tomography (CT)

Computed Tomography (CT) scanning is a great tool for identifying superior genetics within terminal sire flocks.

CT provides a welfare friendly way of assessing the total muscle, fat and bone yield in a live sheep. This near perfect predictor of carcase composition can also be used to measure the muscling in different parts of the carcase, such as the rib, loin and gigot.

Embracing a genomic future

In 2023 AHDB launched the UK's first genomic breeding values for sheep as part of Signet's National Hill Sheep Evaluation.

This was a major milestone for livestock breeding and AHDB are now working collaboratively with a number of Breed Societies and Research Institutions to enable other breed types to embrace the genomic opportunity within their breeding programmes. 

The role of genetics in reducing the environmental impact of beef and sheep

Farmers that are using EBVs to source breeding stock to improve flock and herd efficiency will also greatly reduce the environmental impact of their livestock systems. This article explains which traits are thought to have the greatest impact on targets set as part of the Climate Change Act (2008) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. 

Selecting the most profitable terminal sire

Recording schemes were developed to make the process of identifying superior genetics easier. Records of performance are analysed to tease out the non-genetic influences on an animal’s performance so that its true genetic potential can be assessed. This is important for traits that are visible, such as growth rate and carcase conformation, and vital when it comes to maternal traits that cannot be assessed visually.

£1.1m funding to develop genetic solutions for Maedi-visna (MV), a chronic infectious disease in sheep

A collaborative research team has been awarded a £1.1million grant to tackle the devastating impact of Maedi-visna (MV), a chronic infectious disease affecting sheep and goats.

Dorset sheep breeders take carcase traits to a new level

For over 50 years, Poll Dorset and Dorset Horn sheep breeders have measured the performance of lambs on their farms with the aim of enhancing their value at the abattoir.

RamCompare update for Charollais breeders March 2024

The Charollais breed has always been an early adopter of research and breeders have been extremely supportive of our work. Over 100 different Charollais sires have been tested to date by RamCompare producing over 19,000 Charollais sired lambs.