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Sheep

A New Lamb Survival EBV in Progress

Signet and EGENES (SRUC) have been looking at creating a new postnatal lamb survival EBV to help breeders genetically improve young animal resilience and identify families with poor survival rates. The ability to enhance this trait could have a huge impact on animal welfare and flock profitability, especially in the current economic climate where every lamb counts. While it i ...

Guidelines for ultrasound scanning

Changes to the guidelines relating to the ultrasound scanning of sheep Samuel Boon, Signet Breeding Services and Janet Roden, Independent Geneticist – October 2016 The use of ultrasound scanning to measure muscle and fat depth in Signet recorded flocks has been one of the great success stories of the last 30 years. The scanning services provides proxy measures for body compos ...

Changes to the Scottish Blackface Breeding Evaluation produced for Signet Recorded Flocks

Samuel Boon, September 2016 Based on work completed by EGENES/SRUC and funded by AHDB Beef and Lamb & Quality Meat Scotland   Summary AHDB and QMS recently funded two enhancements to the Scottish Blackface Breeding Evaluation and these are incorporated in your latest results. Improvements have been made to the way EBVs are calculated, particularly traits like the Lit ...

Review of genetic improvement in UK beef cattle and sheep

Genetic improvement delivers substantial economic benefit to the UK’s sheep and beef industries. The financial benefit to UK sheep producers via increased productivity is £10.7 million per year, with beef producers gaining £4.9 million. Following on from a review of genetic improvement in the UK’s sheep and beef industries in 2007 by Amer et al., a similar review was conducted ...

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 ...

Sheep Breed Survey Results Now Available!

The fifth Sheep Breed Survey has been completed in England, Scotland and Wales and gives a unique insight into the industry’s complex breeding structure. The breeding structure of the British sheep industry 2012, which analyses the results of a survey completed by nearly 10,000 wool producers registered with the British Wool Marketing Board, gives an insight into the popul ...