Pedigree breeders have the opportunity to receive valuable information on their ram’s progeny by nominating rams and semen for use in a major industry project, RamCompare.
New estimated breeding values (EBVs) for carcase weight, carcase fat and carcase conformation are now available for animals involved in the project, which can be used when marketing rams.
Breeders will receive feedback on the performance of their rams for commercially relevant traits.
Nominations have just opened for the purchase of rams and semen from performance recorded terminal sire breeds. Nominations opened today and close on Monday 5th March for the 2018 season. Over 3,000 ewes will be mated this autumn across the commercial farms involved.
There is a minimum requirement of 30 doses of semen for use via artificial insemination (AI). With the introduction of a unit at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Northern Ireland, the project team is also looking for Suffolk or Texel semen collected with EU Export status. For semen with EU export status, 40 doses per ram is required.
For natural service sires, fit and fertile rams are required, with preference given to rams that are shearlings or older.
RamCompare is seeking rams and semen that meet the following criteria:
- EBVs in top 20 per cent of the breed
- Good history of performance records of the ram and its progeny (eg, ultrasound scan, computed tomography (CT) data)
- Shearling in autumn 2018 or older
- Good and known health status and be from a Maedi Visna-accredited flock
- Be from a flock with good genetic linkage to other flocks
- Provide genetic diversity to the rams that have already been used
- Part of a Signet-recorded flock
The rates payable for ram and semen purchases remain the same for rams on test;
- Ram purchases £400 towards the cost of each ram plus delivery mileage paid
- Semen purchases £5/dose of semen plus AI centre handling and shipping fees covered
- A different price will be negotiated for export semen
It is recognised these rates don’t cover the full market value of these genetics and thus result in the breeder involved making a contribution towards the testing of their breeding lines.
We look forward to hearing from you – closing date Monday 5th March!