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RamCompare Results Webinar 11th May 2023

Join Signet Breeding Services for the annual results update from the RamCompare project’s UK progeny test, with updated results from the year seven data collection.

For the first time results will be released online as 38,500 abattoir records from 400 RamCompare sires are incorporated into the National Terminal Sire Evaluation. SRUC’s new breeding index will be launched as the project steps up a gear and makes abattoir derived breeding values more widely available.

AHDB to support CT scanning for 2023

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. In 2023 AHDB are placing an additional criteria on breeders that wish to receive funding for CT scanning, which is that CT scanned lambs that are performance recorded with Signet must be genotyped (using a 50K genotype).

Gortleigh - 35 years of recording

The Gortleigh Dorset flock was established by Gill and Richard Trace in 1986 on a 330 acre farm in North-West Devon. The breed was chosen for its ability to lamb naturally out of season, its versatility, adaptability and docility.

The Gortleigh flock has always been pro-actively managed using Estimated Breeding Values (EBV’s) and has been a member of the Centurion Dorset breeders group since 1997.

Should I only breed from rams that are born as a twin?

At a recent meeting, commercial farmers with Dorset sheep were discussing how important it was to select a ram that has been born as a twin.


Breeding for worm resistance in sheep 

In Autumn 2022 ten performance recorded hill flocks measured their lambs, assessing both individual FECs (for Strongyles and Nematodirus) and an immune response to worm challenge that is measured via blood samples, referred to as IgA. Measures were taken by farmers and vet and then assessed by Techion (for FEC) and Biobest (for IgA).

What is a reduction in days to slaughter worth for a spring lambing flock?

Within our terminal sire breeding programmes we are often asked to put a commercial value on the genetic improvement we make in enhancing growth rate and conformation. While it is relatively easy to understand the value of increasing a lamb’s carcase weight, carcase conformation grade or changing fat classification, it is far harder to determine the impact of reducing days to slaughter.

Reducing carbon emissions through breeding and genetics

This webinar series, in partnership with the British Society Animal Science (BSAS) and Teagasc (Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority) aims to share the most recent research findings investigating methods to reduce emissions from livestock agriculture and how we can apply this directly to farm. 

What’s New for 2023?

We recognise the importance of generating consistency in the monthly breeding values published by Signet.

While the ranking of animals will change as new data is added to the genetic evaluation, breeders generally wish to avoid changes that lead to their animals re-ranking - unless the index of their favourite ram goes up of course! However, as time moves on the team of geneticists at SRUC do make recommendations on ways to enhance our evaluations and if it is going to help breeders to make better breeding decisions, then we try to take their advice. 

Kelsey Trophy goes to Bridgehaugh flock

The Kelsey trophy is awarded to a Signet recorded Hampshire Down flock who has made the greatest genetic gain this year. This year it has been awarded to the Bridgehaugh flock, the flock has an impressive Terminal Sire index flock average of 287, putting the lambs within the top 5% of the breed.

Pictured is Graylen Officer who was the highest index ram in the breed at the premier sale in 2021 and was purchased by David for 4,600gns.

Catch up now on the latest webinar: Breeding sheep to reduce methane emissions

Catch up now on the recent webinar where Laura Eyles, Signet Breeding Services was joined by Dr Nóirín McHugh from Teagasc as she talks about projects in Ireland that have set out to measure methane emissions in Irish sheep flocks. She will explain why this work is important and what impact it is expected to have. Hear how selective breeding can be used to reduce methane emissions in the national flock and why genetic solutions are so important in enhancing this aspect of sheep production.