Tom Stauton, Co. Mayo, has been a LambPlus breeder for the last number of years and is recording his Bluefaced Leicester and Lanark sheep on the Sheep Ireland database. Tom has written an excellent piece in the Farming Independent this week on how performance recording can help to improve your flock! Tom discusses the indexes and traits that he focuses on, including survivability and hardiness, milkiness and growth rates and uses these to bring about improvements to his flock. He also mentions that his smaller ewes often have the best lambs in terms of growth which highlights the importance of recording ewe mature weights. Tom genotypes his Bluefaced Leicester rams using the subsidised rate offered by Sheep Ireland, providing his rams with more accuracy and displayed scrapie type to enhance scrapie resistance by selecting animals with the desired scrapie type. One of the most important things discussed by Tom was that farmers fear that stockmanship skills could be lost by selecting animals based on their index’s which highlights the importance of visual inspections along with using the indexes to make breeding decisions.