Weekly Update: 24/07/2015

Weekly Update: 24/07/2015

Sheep Ireland Online Ram Search

The Sheep Ireland Ram Search has been updated as part of ongoing works to improving the Sheep Ireland website. The Ram Search allows farmers and breeders to look up the most up to date evaluations for specific animals as well as allowing them to search for new rams that fit the farmer’s criteria. Rams can be filtered by €uroStar evaluations, age, location, and ID. This is just another vital tool to be added to the belt of the farmer looking for the best genetics to add to their flock, and for the LambPlus breed who is producing these genetics to advertise their rams. This site was widely used since its original launch just over two years ago with 60,000 hits in the last two years, and hopefully this trend will continue to grow. This search is a critical part of the overall plan to increase the rate of profitable genetic gain across the Irish national flock as it allows farmers to check the current stars of a ram at the click of a button before a potential purchase, for example. Some further improvements will be made to the search over the coming weeks and user feedback is welcomed.

Flock Linkage Reports

This week we sent out a flock linkage report to every LambPlus flock updating them on the current status of their flock. Flock linkage or flock connection refers to the genetic connectivity (similar bloodlines) between Sheep Ireland performance recording flocks. Genetic linkage is crucial for genetic evaluation as it allows fair and accurate comparisons between flocks. Flocks become linked by using rams that were breed in or used by linked flocks to mate with your ewes. The subsequent lambs must then also have weights recorded on them at the recommended times. Genetic linkage needs to be kept up-to-date: a guideline for breeders would be to make sure they use a linked ram every 3 years.

When a unlinked flock becomes linked with other flocks this will have a positive effect on the flock Acc% as the data in the flock can now be compared against a greater number of animals in the database and as a result the flock Acc% levels may be lower than they could be.

LambPlus Sale 2015

This year Sheep Ireland will be holding the 5th Sheep Ireland Multi-Breed Ram Sale in Tullamore Mart, Co. Offaly on Saturday 22nd August. Sale will commence at 12.30pm. This sale has proven to be very successful to date with excellent clearance rates as it attracts and showcases some of the best €uroStar rams in the country each year. All rams at this sale will be eligible for the STAP scheme and this will only add to the demand that is already in place for these rams.

Minimum Sale Entry Criteria

As usual there will be minimum criteria for each ram entering this sale:

  • All rams must have been born in a flock that ultrasonically scanned a proportion of their lambs for muscle and fat depth in 2015.
  • All rams must have five €uroStars for either the Replacement or Terminal index and in conjunction with this five €uroStars requirement, the adjoining accuracy (Acc) % is required to be 30% or greater. These can be checked using your Sheep Ireland online €uroStar report or the new ram search for the most up to date results.
  • The minimum Acc% has risen from 20% in 2013, 25% in 2014 to 30% in 2015, this is credit to LambPlus breeders that continue to increase the quality and quantity of data recorded each year.
  • All rams must be physically correct similar to any breed society sale. Sheep Ireland will carry out ram inspections on the day and will inspect all rams upon entry to the sale. Any sheep which, in our opinion, are unfit for sale will be rejected immediately.
  • All entries must be returned to Sheep Ireland, Highfield House, Shinagh, Bandon, Co. Cork before the closing deadline of August 6th 2015.


Sheep Events

Sheep Ireland attended several events during the week. These are very important for spreading the message of Sheep Ireland and educating farmers on how to interpret the new data (€uroStars) so they can take full advantage of their benefits.

  • Brian Nicholson’s Betterfarm open day in Kilkenny – Brian is also one of Sheep Ireland’s commercial recording flocks with the CPT
  • Sean McGee’s STAP group in Cavan – Sean is a pedigree Texel LambPlus breeder
  • John Curley’s Betterfarm open day in Roscommon