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Ram nominations are open

RamCompare Nomination Form for Rams and Semen

RamCompare is seeking performance recorded rams and semen for the coming season.

Nominations can be made here. The closing date is 14th May 2021.  

Terms and conditions are shown below

Background

RamCompare is the UK’s commercial progeny test for terminal sires. To date we have tested over 280 rams from 11 different breeds, collecting data from 26,000 lambs in one of the largest trials of its kind.

Phase III funding has been announced which will widen the scope of the project and enable greater use to be made of abattoir data within genetic evaluations.

In recent years we have received over 200 ram nominations per annum from which a team of 65-70 new sires has been selected. The cost of testing a ram is around £2500 per ram and the rates offered for ram and semen purchase recognise that those breeders that are engaged in the project are directly contributing towards the project and its success.

Please consider supporting us with your ram nominations. The terms and conditions can be found here

Breeders wishing to nominate more than one ram are asked to complete a form for each one.

Ram Nomination Process

Nominated places may be filled by Suffolk, Texel, Charollais, Meatlinc, Hampshire Down, Poll Dorset, Beltex, Blue Texel, Bleu du Maine, Vendeen, Oxford Down, Ile de France, Shropshire or Southdown rams.

Ram selection criteria

RamCompare will select rams and semen taking into account the following preferences:

  • Ideally EBVs in top 20% for the National Terminal Sire Evaluation, though lower ranking rams may be considered if they are of particular interest
  • A history of performance records taken on the ram and his contemporaries/progeny, including measurements taken using the CT scanner
  • Genetic linkage to other flocks in the breed
  • Different breeding lines to those rams already tested
  • For natural service sires we require the rams to be shearlings or older, we prefer not to purchase ram lambs. Nominations of fit and fertile, older stock rams are extremely welcome.
  • Known health status

For the AI sires we have a minimum requirement of 30 doses.  However, if more doses are available this is useful to know, particularly when choose a rams for use across more than one flock.

It is essential that rams nominated for natural service are in good health and fit for breeding to avoid rejection on delivery.

Supporting RamCompare

Whilst rams and semen still need to meet the criteria listed above, some breeders have previously offered to provide additional rams and semen free of charge or at a discounted rate. This contribution is noted and offers of this type can be made through the online nomination process.  

The deadline for ram nominations is Friday 14th May 2021

The final decision relating to the procurement of rams and semen will be made by AHDB in the May 2021.

Any queries should be sent to [email protected]

 

Terms and Conditions

Terms of Sale to the RamCompare Project

Where AHDB wish to purchase a ram or semen from an AI sire, each breeder will become an established supplier to AHDB, once an account is in place a purchase order (PO) number will be issued, this number must be clearly written on any invoice accompanied by full contact and bank details to ensure prompt payment.

AHDB will pay up to £5 per dose of semen. AHDB will cover the cost of handling and shipment of frozen semen batches.

AHDB will pay up to £450 for each ram plus £0.45 per mile for delivery of purchased rams to an agreed location by an agreed date.

The purchase is subject to a veterinary inspection by a vet approved by AHDB to determine:

  • Fitness to work - rams will be subjected to a Sheep Veterinary Society approved pre-breeding examination (PBE), details available on the Signet website). This examination will focus on, but is not limited to, feet, legs, body condition, locomotion and reproductive organs – it is essential that rams nominated are in good health and fit for breeding to avoid rejection on delivery
  • Freedom from readily ascertainable signs of disease - rams will stand in a quarantine unit on the designated farm until all fertility and health status tests have been undertaken. Tests include serological tests for evidence of exposure to maedi visna (MV), caseous lymphadenitis (CLA), Johnes or Sheep Scab and PCR tests for evidence of Border Disease or Johnes.  Breeders will be notified of all results and arrangements made so that rams that fail any of the tests are returned.
  • Semen quality will be checked within a fortnight of the ram being delivered. Rams providing a semen sample that does not meet the standards will be rechecked by the vet and after due deliberation may be deemed to have failed the inspection.
  • Please declare all vaccination history with your nomination so that this can be considered when interpreting the blood test results for Johnes or CLA.
  • To help interpretation of the results for the Sheep Scab ELISA test, please indicate if the ram has been treated with an injectable macrocyclic lactone (eg Cydectin, Zermex, Dectomax) or OP dip within the previous year.

Details should be provided at the time of sale of any health treatments administered to the ram.

The veterinary decision will be final and rams failing veterinary inspection will be returned to the breeder at AHDB’s cost.

Payments will be made immediately after individuals have passed their inspections or on confirmation of frozen semen doses being available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author

Samuel Boon

Samuel Boon

I am the Manager of Signet Breeding Services, within the AHDB.

Enthusiast on all things genetics to do with sheep and cattle and currently also supporting Bridget Lloyd in running the @RamCompare progeny test with ~18,000 lambs/annum.

I am also involved with the:-

  • Relaunch of Terminal Sire Breeding Programmes (Sheep)
  • AHDB lead for the Welsh Sheep Breeding Project run by HCC - working with Innovis, HCC and Janet Roden
  • Database design and development for this website
  • National Sheep Breeds Survey
  • Development of Carcase Trait EBVs in Beef Cattle
  • Formerly involved with the delivery of the Welsh Sheep Strategy, Northern Upland Sheep Strategy, Suckler Cow Project, Highlands and Islands Sheep Strategy

I can be followed on Twitter @SamBoonBreeding