“There is so much more to a ram than what we see on the outside” – take it a step further this season!

“There is so much more to a ram than what we see on the outside” – take it a step further this season!

This year has seen a major increase in the number of animals being genotyping, with over 2,000 ram lambs alone being genomically tested. Many pedigree breed societies took the initiative to encourage more genotyping by implementing this as a requirement for premier sales and also offering a further subsidy to reduce the cost of genotyping for its members. What these increased levels of genotyping means for breeders is that as well as getting parentage verification, parentage predictions, a DAFM approved scrapie status for genotyped animals, and an inbreeding coefficient but they will also get a genomic evaluation for their sheep. A genomic evaluation means that the data obtained from the animals DNA is now also incorporated into the evaluation.

This genomic information is very informative, and as a result, the accuracy of a genotyped animal will increase by 15-20% on average.

There are many benefits achieved through increased levels of genotyping and The Irish Farmers Journal have an excellent article on their ‘focus’ column in the sheep breeding section on how easy it is to get your hands on a genomically tested ram this season, take a look by clicking here.

Dr. Alan Bohan of Sheep Ireland also spoke with Ciaran Lynch of Teagasc on the OviCast Sheep Podcast this week, check this out by clicking here

“There is so much more to a ram than what we just see on the outside….There is a huge bank of information there that is of huge benefit to the farmer….when the information is available, its a shame not to make use of that”