Skip to the content


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.

New Signet publications for terminal sires

Signet has recently updated the range of publications for terminal sire breeders, find electronic copies of the booklet in this article. 

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.

Updates to Birth Weight and Lambing Ease EBVs

Signet has recently updated their genetic evaluation to enhance the breeding values for two traits that influence the level of intervention required at lambing time.

Producing lambs that survive and thrive

Many factors effect lamb survival, some are influenced by the environment the lamb is born into, some are influenced by the ewe’s maternal performance (whether she has enough milk and leads the lamb to shelter in wet weather). However, the lamb’s own genes also have a marked impact on their future and part of the genetic evaluation service provided by Signet to breeders, we can identify the best breeding lines for lamb survival; highlighting those sires whose lambs thrive and survive.

Recording Birth Weights and Lambing Ease

With lambing round the corner for many terminal sire breeders, now is an important time to highlight the importance of recording both Birth Weights and Lambing Ease.