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Sheep

Funding Agreed for Combined Breed Genetic Evaluations

UK genetic evaluations of sheep have traditionally been undertaken within purebred populations. However, much of the UK sheep industry is a stratified system with approximately 56% of ewes in the national flock being crossbred and increasingly breeders are incorporating crossbred sheep into genetic improvement systems. Requests for across-breed Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) ...

Poster on Lamb Mortality

A new poster has been produced by Dr Jo Conington which explains about risk factors influencing lamb mortality. This is important work bearing in mind: Lamb survival is the key to more profitable sheep farming and good animal welfare. Managing known risks to lamb survival can lead to reduced lamb mortality. Breeding sheep with inherent ability to survive and withstand har ...

Variation in spine characteristics in sheep

Implementing the use of spine traits in a commercial breeding program has been seen to improve meat production from the carcass of larger-bodied pigs. The aim of this study was to assess the extent of variation in spine characteristics within and between breeds of sheep and to investigate the association with body length and tissues traits to deliberate if a similar approach co ...

Four Teated Sheep

Alexander Graham Bell (first person to patent the telephone) was one of the first people to record the existence of sheep with extra teats – noting in his flock that initially these animals also tended to be more fertile. Within the UK strains of sheep with four functional teats have also been identified; proving of interest to both farmers and academic. Alun Davies has kindl ...

New report: The Impact of Generation Interval

Pedigree breeders often ask how they can make faster genetic progress within their flocks. The rate of genetic change achieved within a flock is dependant on three things:• The heritability of the trait• The selection pressure• The generation interval Breeders have little influence on the heritability of the trait, but they can often increase the selection pressure within the ...