Weekly Update: 31/03/17

Upcoming Meetings

  • Next Thursday 6th April a meeting of the Sheep Ireland Board of representatives will be held. For users of Sheep Ireland this is a regular opportunity to be heard and to have an input on the direction of the programme. A summary of the Board members is here
  • On Tuesday 11th April a Sheep Industry Meeting will take place in Athenry, Co. Galway. The main objective of this industry meeting will be to present an update on the sheep genomics research project ‘OVIGEN’ and to discuss the next phase of this project. As spaces are limited at this meeting, attendance is by prior notice to Sheep Ireland only. All sectors of the sheep industry will be present to hear about progress and to give opinion on the future plans. All breed societies will be represented by their chairperson and/or secretary. Ram breeders interested in attending must contact their society secretary, who will in turn check space availability with Sheep Ireland. Every effort will be made to accommodate anyone interested in attending.

LambPlus Deadline for Recording 2017 Lambing Data

The end of April is the deadline by which pedigree ram breeders must enter their flocks lambing data onto the Sheep Ireland database. Any lambs entered after this date will not receive genetic evaluations in 2017, but will be published in 2018. Regular reminders will be circulated to breeders over the next few weeks.

CPT Update

  • Ewes that did not conceive to AI in our CPT programme are now lambing down across the CPT flocks. These repeat ewes were mated to each farmers stock rams in large groups, so identifying the sire of each lamb born from these repeats is not possible based on mating records. However now that we are in a position where we have successfully tested the use of SNP chip genotyping to accurately assign sheep parentage based on DNA, we can hopefully use this technology to assign parentage to these ‘repeat’ lambs.
  • We are continuing to tag these repeat lambs at birth and matching to their dam. DNA samples are collected at tagging and all relevant performance records are being captured. This data will be very valuable to the €uro-Star genetic evaluations. The ancestry of each repeat ewe is known by the Sheep Ireland database, which means that all data captured will flow back into a deep family tree, helping to build accuracy% and more robust €uro-Star evaluations for the industry.

Please see some images of 2017 CPT ewes & lambs between rain showers this week below.