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Genomics of sheep resilience to climate change

Different animals are known to react differently to changing climatic and weather conditions, and part of these differences may be genetic. Therefore, breeding for enhanced animal resilience to climate change has been proposed as a possible mitigation strategy. 

The aim of the present project was to examine the genomic profile of climate resilience in sheep, with a focus on identifying the desirable genetic profile of animals whose performance and growth do not change because of changing weather. 

Sheep Breeders Round Table returns for a face-to-face conference

Following two years of covid restrictions which led to 2021’s online format, the Sheep Breeders Round Table (SBRT) are delighted to be back delivering their popular in-person conference this November, and you’re invited!

This year’s theme will be ‘UK sheep genetics delivering for the nation’ and the event takes place from Friday 11 - Sunday 13 November 2022 at the Radisson Blu Hotel at East Midlands Airport.

Pioneering work shows genetic traits that makes lambs more attractive to consumers

RamCompare year six results have continued to show the correlation between Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) in terminal sires and commercial productivity in lambs.

Signet’s Shear Force research has also proven that the animal’s genes do influence tenderness and that measurements of tenderness can be used to produce breeding values.

RamCompare year 6 press release - top breeding boosts profit and productivity in commercial lambs

RamCompare uses nominated performance-recorded rams from many breeds on commercial farms across the UK. RamCompare’s year six results demonstrate how rams with key breeding traits can optimise flock profitability. In four case studies flock profitability was enhanced by £1.98 to £5.17 per lamb; with some rams producing lambs that finished several weeks earlier than others.

The full results, which report the data collected and analysed from rams with the fastest growth rates, best conformation and most valuable progeny, will be presented in an industry webinar on 19 May, which is free to attend and open to all

Using technology to breed lambs with more muscle

To meet the needs of the commercial producer, ram breeders must select rams with the right carcase attributes, and this can be aided using EBVs to identify genetically superior animals. In order to assess muscling in the live animal, breeders can utilise measurement services such as ultrasound scanning and Computed Tomography (CT) scanning within their breeding programmes to find the best animals and make informed decisions

Our Best Guide for Commercial Flock Productivity

Commercial producers are seeing the benefits of looking deeper into an animal’s background before purchase and utilising data to make informed decisions rather than buying on looks alone. Many buyers are seeking high index terminal sires to improve their farm’s profitability; improving carcase conformation, reducing days to slaughter and increasing the value of the lambs sold

The role of AHDB Levy Funds in the Genetic Improvement of the National Flock

In Spring 2022 beef and lamb levy payers will be asked how they want to see the levy that they pay to AHDB invested. In this article Samuel Boon talks about the role of levy investment in generating long term genetic improvement in our sheep industry through the use of selective breeding and the financial impact this has on the sector. 

A successful Charollais Sale for performance recorded breeders

There was a great selection of performance recorded Charollais rams on sale at the Premier Sale at Worcester. 43% of the rams on offer were performance recorded and were well represented in the top prices; four of the top five prices were for performance recorded rams.  Rams in the sale had an average index in the top 25% of the breed, allowing a great choice for buyers to prog ...

Using Performance Recording in crossbred ram breeding

Ram breeding provides the genetics to increase the productivity of your customer’s flock. Performance recording means you can select and market the sheep with the most profitable genetics. Recording crossbred rams uses the same process as a pedigree flock, but you should consider:

Dorset May Fair 2021

The Dorset May Fair makes a positive start for performance recording breeders as the sale season gets underway. There are great levels of performance recording in the Dorset breed...