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Gary is among the founding members of the Mayo-Connemara flockbook.

Weekly Update: 10/07/2015

Ram sale season kicking off soon

Another ram sale season is upon us and the fruits of breeders data recording are being included in ram sale catalogues in the form of €uro-Star evaluations. Many of the premier sale catalogues for the various breeds have been prepared or are under preparation. For each breed society this is a huge amount of work as the premier is the largest sale of the year. Sheep Ireland are doing what we can to ensure LambPlus breeder’s genetic evaluations are included in sales catalogues and breed societies are being extremely co-operative in this regard.

Why are my €uroStars not displaying in the sales catalogue?

This will be a question asked by some breeders over the coming weeks. There are a number of minimum criteria that a breeder must adhere to in order for €uro-Star evaluations to be published in a sales catalogue by Sheep Ireland. Breeders have been informed of these criteria throughout the year.

  • No NSIS recorded on the Sheep Ireland database for an animal. This will result in no €uro-Star evaluation being published for that animal.
  • The animal was added to the Sheep Ireland database after the lambing data entry deadline of April 30th . The €uro-Star evaluations for these animals will not be published in ram sales catalogues in 2015.
  • The accuracy% for any of the animals Indices are below 10%. Should any Index be below 10% accuracy, then that information is blanked. This very low threshold will likely be increased in the coming years.
  • Extremely low DQI. This is perhaps the most important point for breeders to note. Any LambPlus flock that has not recorded sufficient data for their flock on the Sheep Ireland database will prevent Sheep Ireland from publishing genetic evaluations for that flock. The flock DQI score is an impartial and factual way to identify these flocks

Linkage (Relatedness between flocks)

Close relatedness between our LambPlus recording flocks is critical to facilitate a genetic evaluation. In order to fairly compare animals and bloodlines between different flocks there needs to be genetic linkages between these flocks. Linkage between most flocks happens naturally, breeders purchase rams from other breeders etc. Sheep Ireland also helps to create linkages between flocks and breeds through the Central Progeny Test (CPT) programme.

The number of unlinked flocks participating in the LambPlus programme is always something of concern. Essentially these unlinked flocks cannot be compared to other recording flocks in their breed. This has a major impact on the quality of genetic evaluations that Sheep Ireland can provide to these flocks.

In the coming weeks in advance of each breed society sale, Sheep Ireland will be making contact with these unlinked to explain the issues that being unlinked cause. There are a number of practical options available to breeders who find themselves unlinked – the main one being to use a well linked ram. An unfortunate reality of the Sheep Ireland programme is that we are currently working with small amounts of performance data, we need to make sure that this performance data is being maximised through good flock linkages. This will be a big focus of Sheep Ireland over the coming weeks.


Mayo-Connemara performance recording in action

See below some images from the farm of Mayo-Connemara breeder Gary Ginty, from Ballycroy, Co. Mayo. Gary is among the founding members of the Mayo-Connemara flockbook.