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Weekly Update: 05/06/2015

Ovigen Update

Yesterday (Thurs 4th) we circulated an update letter to all LambPlus breeders. To date we have visited almost 100 breeder’s flocks. We have collected DNA samples from just over 3000 adult sheep (ewes and rams) and 3500 lamb DNA samples.

We are currently contacting all flock owners of the five breeds that are included in this research project – Texel, Charollais, Suffolk, Belclare and Vendeen. Before any flock visit can be arranged, the following criteria must be met:

  • The inventory of the flock in question is 100% accurate.
  • All ewes present in the flock inventory have an event recorded for them in 2015 – ie lambed, marked as barren, aborted or not mated (ewe lambs only) sold or dead.
  • NSIS numbers are entered onto the Sheep Ireland database for all ewes and rams.
  • Only adult sheep will be genotyped – no 2015 born lambs will be genotyped as part of Ovigen.
  • DNA will be collected and stored from 2015 born lambs provide they are tagged with the NSIS tag.


Method of DNA sampling being used is an ear punch. This is working extremely well across farms thus far. See images below of the sampling method in action.

Ear punchEar punch1

Ultrasound Muscle & Backfat Scanning 2015

The deadline for breeders to notify Sheep Ireland of their intention to carry out Ultrasound scanning

of their lambs this summer was last Friday 29th May. We will now make contact with all these

breeders to identify a suitable date to visit and collect the data.


All breeders that notified Sheep Ireland of their intention to scan in 2015 have been posted a letter

which explains all there is to know about the service. Information is also available on the Sheep

Ireland website – click here to find this info.