LambPlus Sign-Ups 2017
The LambPlus sign-up deadline passed yesterday (Thursday 1 st December). The number of breeders that have signed up for the 2017 season looks to be on a par with last year’s figures which is encouraging. Final figures are not yet available as we are still processing a large number of forms. A full summary will be included in next week’s update.
Breed society AGMs
Sheep Ireland have presented at a number of AGMs so far this year and we would like to express our willingness to attend any breed societies meetings in the coming weeks and months. One area which we know many breed societies could benefit is from using the flockbook management system/web screens which we have developed over the past number of years. This system provides Irish sheep breed societies with a state of art system which allows society administrators and members to operate society tasks extremely efficiently. For a summary of what this system has to offer and the costs associated with it, just click here
Are the €uro-Stars working for pedigree ram breeders?
- Each year Sheep Ireland publishes validation data which has consistently illustrated significant differences between the performance of high and low index sheep. This validation data is updated annually to include the latest year’s performance data. Up to now our validation has been based on data coming from commercial sheep flocks, with the objective of connecting with other Irish commercial sheep farmers.
- In recent days we have been engaging with some of the pedigree ram breeders participating in the LambPlus programme to assess what impact the €uro-Stars are having within their own flocks. We hope to put together a number of case studies throughout the year looking at topics that are relevant to the particular time. Our first one looks at pregnancy scanning results.
Case Study: Jim and Frampton Jeffery, Midleton, Co. Cork – Bawnard Flock
- Jim and Frampton Jeffery run a flock of pedigree Charollais, Suffolk and Texel ewes. The flock has been performance recording with Sheep Ireland since 2014 and since then has started to build up a bank of information on the bloodlines within the flock. This data has been recorded by both Jim and Frampton as well as during flock visits by Sheep Ireland.
- For the purpose of this case study we are going to look at the pregnancy scanning results for the January lambing Charollais flock which comprises of 61 breeding ewes. In this chart we have divided the ewes by their Euro-Star rating for number of lambs born (This is displayed on all Sheep Ireland sales catalogues) and then found the average scanning result for each of the groups. The difference in the ewes rated in the bottom 20% (1 Star) and the ewes rated as being in the top 20% (5 Star) of the breed for number of lambs born was 0.64 lambs per ewe. That’s an extra half a lamb per ewe!!
- In this chart the same data except this time we found the average star rating of each ewe for number of lambs born and then split them into groups based on their pregnancy scan result. Again the results are quite remarkable. The average star rating of ewes that scanned with one lamb was only 2.8 compared to 3.42 and 4.33 for twins and triplets respectively.
- Breeder comment; “The results are quite interesting in that the higher rated ewes are also our better performing ewes within the pedigree flock. Keeping females from these ewes should improve our flock prolificacy”. From a Sheep Ireland point of view its very encouraging that the €uro-Star indexes can help breeders to identify these higher performing genetics within their individual flock.