Genetic Evaluations are the core of Sheep Ireland’s objective as these allow farmers to compare rams from different farms based on their breeding potential and future profitability.
Sheep Ireland runs a genetic evaluation weekly during the peak season (April-October) when large amounts of performance records are being added to the database daily and breeding/culling decisions are being made.
Performance recording breeders can find the results of the genetic evaluations on their personal Sheep Ireland account. The genetic evaluation results for performance recorded pedigree males are also available on the Sheep Ireland Ram Search which can be found at www.ramsearch.ie
LambPlus Euro-Star Index
The Euro-Star Index is a breeding index designed to aid sheep farmers in the selection of more profitable breeding animals. Euro-Star Indexes quantify the genetic component of an animal’s performance across all traits of importance for Irish sheep farmers.
Two Overall Indexes in Sheep
There are two Euro-Star Indexes;
- Replacement Index
- Terminal Index.
This is to facilitate the use of Euro-Star Indexes to maximise the use of the correct genetics for the right purpose. Some farmers may breed their replacements, in which case the Replacement Index is most relevant. Other farmers may sell all of their progeny at weaning or take them through to slaughter, in which case the Terminal Index is most relevant.
If a farmer desires an animal to breed both replacement females and factory lambs, then they should select a ram based on this index. The bulk of this index is a combination of Lamb Survivability, Days to Slaughter, No. of lambs born & Daughter’s milk. The € value beside the index represents the difference in profit that each lamb bred from this animal will have. This € value is an across-breed value, so different breeds can be compared to each other.
If a farmer desires a ram to breed only factory lambs then they should select an animal based on this index. The bulk of this index is a combination of Lamb Survivability and Days to Slaughter and Carcass traits. The € value beside the index represents the difference in profit that each lamb bred from this animal will have. This € value is an across-breed value, so different breeds can be compared to each other.