CPT 2019 Sponging and AI has Commenced

CPT 2019 Sponging and AI has Commenced

CPT Sponging

The purpose of the CPT sponging is to synchronise ewes oestrus cycle for the day of AI. All CPT ewes are weighed, body condition scored , lameness recorded, dag scored and mastitis recorded, this is all recorded​ using the Sheep Ireland LambPlus App. Sponges were inserted 2 weeks ago and are due for removal in the first CPT AI flock tomorrow. See gallery below for some pictures of ewe mature weights being taken during sponging.

CPT AI begins Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Sat 5th) see’s the beginning of the CPT AI programme on one of Sheep Ireland’s CPT farms.  The first of the CPT farms to begin AI is James Napers in County Meath. Sheep Ireland’s representative Sean Godfrey along with some of Sheep Ireland’s technicians are on farm today with AI technicians from AB Europe (Innovis) also present.  This week Sheep Ireland technicians have been busy training CPT rams to provide semen for AI. This is taking place on the UCD Lyons estate in County Dublin. To facilitate efficient fresh semen AI each day on farm, it is critical that all rams are adequately trained and comfortable with providing semen. Some rams were taking a little more time to train than others however the quality of semen being collected from rams has been excellent thus far. There is up to 30 rams across 6 breeds being used in the CPT this year.

With approximately 30 rams being used across the 2,100 ewes, a lot of effort is put in place to ensure that the maximum return is acquired from the subsequent recorded data. Some of the criteria we apply to fulfill this goal is as follows:

  • Each year we source rams from each of the largest LambPlus participating breeds. We also select
    one ram from the previous year for each breed, this means we can genetically link the data collected last year to the data collected this year to get maximum linkage.
  • Each ram is used on at least two flocks with the target of three flocks per ram.
  • Each ram is mated with a similar number of ewes from each breed.
  • Each farm in the CPT receives a similar percentage of each breed.
  • Every farm has at least two rams of the same breed used.

We currently have a detailed plan in place that will accomplish this, however inevitably each year this has to be adapted to accommodate for rams that do not perform as expected on a particular day and we re-adjust the mating plan as best as possible. This is why rams are brought into the ram collection centre in UCD for a period of time prior to AI where they are trained to jump and where their semen quality can be tested. This helps to rule out some of the potential problems that may occur on the day of AI.

Central Progeny Test Centre

The central progeny test centre is located on UCD Lyons estate farm in County Dublin. Sheep Ireland technicians are still currently collecting rams that have been submitted to the CPT for 2019, these rams are brought here for up to four weeks and upon arrival are physically assessed and clinically assessed for any noticeable aliments by a Licensed Veterinary Practitioner. Semen health and and ram fertility is tested before insemination. Rams have access to fresh water and kept well feed.


Have a look below at what is the CPT and what are the benefits.

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