Genotype (DNA sample) your potential entries to Sheep Ireland’s Elite €uroStar Multi-Breed Ram Sale 2021 by next Tues June 15th!

Genotype (DNA sample) your potential entries to Sheep Ireland’s Elite €uroStar Multi-Breed Ram Sale 2021 by next Tues June 15th!

The Sheep Ireland Elite €uroStar Multi-Breed Ram sale will take place on Saturday, August 28th at 11:30 am in Kilkenny Mart. 

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions the Sheep Ireland Board have decided that the 2021 Sheep Ireland ram sale will be held in Kilkenny mart again this year. The large facilities and extra capacity both in the holding pen area and the ring side will allow for a more Covid 19 friendly, socially distant sale. This decision along with the decision to include genotyping as a requirement for the 2021 sale will require more time for breeders to select and genotype their rams for the sale hence this communication is well in advance of the sale. The sale entry criteria will be mostly the same as previous years with some changes as outlined below. Muscle and Fat scanning was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, but it remains a core element of the breed improvement program. Muscle and Fat scanning will not be an entry requirement for the 2021 sale.

Entry Criteria

As usual, there will be entry criteria for each ram entering this sale. Due to Covid-19 restrictions some aspects of the sale entry criteria have been updated.

  • €uroStar Index & Accuracy % – All rams must have five €uroStars for either the Replacement or Terminal index, and in conjunction with this five €uroStars requirement, the adjoining accuracy (Acc) % must be 50% or higher at the time of catalogue printing. These can be checked using your Sheep Ireland online €uroStar report for the most up to date genetic evaluation results.
  • Data Quality Index (DQI) – Breeders wishing to enter sheep in the sale must have a flock DQI of 70% or higher. Your DQI score is available on your online account on www.sheep.ie.
  • Flock Linkage Status – Flocks that wish to enter the sale must be genetically linked in 2021. Unlinked flocks will not be allowed to enter the sale. You can check your flock linkage status by visiting your €uroStar profile through your online account.
  • Ram Inspection – All rams must be physically correct, similar to any breed society sale. Sheep Ireland will carry out a thorough ram inspection on the day and will inspect all rams upon entry to the sale. Any sheep which in our opinion are not physically correct will be rejected immediately.
  • Genotyped All rams entered in the sale must be genotyped (DNA sampled) via the Sheep Ireland genomic service.
  • Sire Verified – All rams must be sire verified. All stock rams were genotyped for 2021 so this should not be an issue for the majority of rams. If there is a sire mismatch and a sire is removed, the animal must have a new genotyped sire assigned to be eligible for the sale.
  • Dam Assigned Rams do not need to be dam verified however, they must have a dam assigned, meaning if a ram has its dam removed as a result of genotyping and another dam is not assigned, the ram is not eligible for entry to the sale.

Genotyping precautions

Due to the possibility of a ram having a sire or dam changed and/or having a change in €uroStar values following genotyping, we would advise each breeder to genotype additional rams as substitutes well in advance of the sale. It can take up to 1 month from the ram’s tissue sample arriving in the lab to the ram having a genomic evaluation, so this process cannot be completed at short notice. We would advise that potential rams for the sale are genotyped (DNA sampled) no later than June 15st, this will allow sufficient time for rams to be re-sampled in the event of the sample failing the quality test at the lab. Tissue sampling animals earlier in the season will also reduce the risk of an ear infection.

Entries & Sale order

Breeders are permitted to enter four rams from each breed in their flock. This year, flocks with over 50 ewes lambed of the same breed will be allowed to enter a fifth ram for that breed. If Covid-19 restrictions remain at a high level, the number of entries could be revised down ahead of the sale, but this will be made clear to breeders in advance of the sale.

The sale will be run on a breed-by-breed basis, and as in 2020 there will be one ballot per breed. There will be two rings in operation on the day with the order that breeds enter the ring and the ring they go through being determined once all the entries have been received.

Deadline for Entries

Entry forms to the sale will be sent out to breeders at a later date. The deadline for receipt of entries will be Monday August 5th. Promotion of the provisional sales catalogue will happen from Wednesday, August 16th.

Substitutes                                                 

We will be accepting subs until 1 pm on Monday, August 23rd by emailing [email protected] and seeking confirmation of receipt or calling 0238820451. No substitutes will be accepted after this deadline. The final sale catalogue will be based on the genomic evaluation carried out on Tuesday, August 24th. All rams must meet the sale entry criteria based on this evaluation run.

If you have any questions or queries on the sale, please contact us on 023-8820451 or e-mail us at [email protected]