Weekly Update: 12/05/17

Sheep Ireland Board Meeting

The Sheep Ireland Board Meeting and AGM took place on Friday 5th May. Important topics that were discussed included the following;

  • CPT progress to date, and plans for the future of this programme.
  • Final plans for the LambPlus Sale.
  • Genetic linkage across LambPlus flocks.
  • Update on the next phase of OVIGEN genotyping.

Genetic Linkage

  • Genetic linkage across LambPlus flocks is of critical importance to Sheep Ireland. Without genetic linkage between flocks/herds it is not possible to get accurate genetic evaluations. Unlinked flocks are essentially being evaluated within their own flock and are not being compared to other flocks with their respective breed.
  • In dairy and beef, genetic linkage is helped greatly by the widespread use of AI. AI facilitates the use of common sires across a great number of herds, thus facilitating very good comparisons for genetic evaluation. While AI is carried out in sheep, it is not as widespread as in the dairy or beef industry.
  • This week Sheep Ireland circulated letters to all LambPlus breeders on this subject. Click here to view some information on linkage.
  • The next step will be to circulate the linkage status of all flocks to breeders in advance of the 2017 mating season. In 2018 Sheep Ireland will clearly highlight €uro-Star evaluations originating from ‘unlinked’ flocks, so it is important that breeders take steps during the upcoming breeding season to link their flocks with other linked flocks within their respective breed.

Ultrasound Scanning (Muscle and BackFat)

Letters have been circulated to all LambPlus breeders in relation to Ultrasound scanning for 2017. The first flocks will be scanned next week and we will continue from there. To read more about our Ultrasound scanning service, just click here.

OVIGEN – Next Phase of Sheep Genomics Launched

We would like to remind all LambPlus breeders that it is now possible to order genotypes for purebred sheep via the Sheep Ireland online web screens. As has been detailed in previous Weekly Updates, this genotyping is being made available in 2017 at a highly subsidised rate, which will hopefully entice breeders to continue genotyping their breeding animals, thus maintaining a full flock of genotyped ewes and breeding rams. Click here for more information on what’s involved.


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