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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.

AHDB funding to support CT scanning in 2024

AHDB are keen to support performance recording flocks based in England that wish to use SRUC’s CT scanning service. AHDB will provide a support payment to SRUC of £55/lamb to support CT scanning services. Breeders can chose to take their lambs to Edinburgh or go to one of the mobile venues set up by SRUC.

Shropshire sired lambs evaluated for carcase traits

Over the past four years Shropshire breeders have been involved in RamCompare, the UKs national progeny test. Data from the project demonstrates the role this native breed plays in the commercial sheep sector and predicts a ram’s economic worth to a flock. This information provides a useful insight for commercial buyers to select the right rams to achieve their lamb enterprise objectives. 

Scoring Wool Shedding in Signet Recorded Flocks

In most wool shedding flocks it is expected that over the course of time a very high proportion of the adult sheep will shed out completely. Breeding evaluations need to pick out the variation between animals, so scores need to be collected before the entire flock has shed their fleece (and score the same!)

Farm Event - Breeding for better carcases and the genomic opportunity

Friday, 24 May 2024, 11:00am - 3:30pm, Sandlands Farm, Frisby on the Wreake, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 2NS

At this event, we will introduce the value of genomics (the study of genes) and explain how important it is for future ram breeding decisions. We will help you to understand how to use performance traits to benefit your pedigree flock or your commercial lamb enterprise.

Southdown rams involved in the National Progeny Test - update February 2024

Over the last five years Southdown breeders have played an important part in RamCompare, the UK’s national progeny test. Data from the project demonstrates the role this native breed plays in the commercial sheep sector and provides information to support commercial ram buyers to select the right rams for their flocks.

Fast finishing Hampshire Downs now finish faster

RamCompare, the national progeny test, supports Hampshire Down breeders that performance record their flocks within Signet providing evidence of how Hampshire Down sires with high EBVs perform on commercial farms and has enabled the development of more accurate predictors for carcase value.New

AHDB research shows clear advances in the Hampshire Down breed, with selection for growth leading to both an increase in carcase weight and a reduction in days to slaughter.

A Genomic outlook for sheep genetic evaluations

Genomic information enables predictions of genetic merit to be made using measures of an animal’s DNA, rather than being solely reliant on data derived from measurements taken on them and their relatives. Genomic approaches do not replace our current genetic analyses but build on them – introducing an additional genomic step that greatly increases the accuracy of our predictions.

Adjusting the scale of the Hill Sheep Index

To support ram breeders in 2024 the index will be rescaled to better reflect the variation within the population, whilst operating from a higher initial starting point. The ranking of rams will not change, but the average index within each breed will be closer to £10 than the current starting point of £1.