RamCompare is the UK's first commercial progeny test comparing the progeny of rams from five terminal sire breeds - Texel, Suffolk, Charollais, Meatlinc and Hampshire. This project is at an exciting stage having had a good lambing season with over 4000 lambs born. Early growth measurements are well underway and activity over the coming months remains busy as the RamCompare team complete the ultrasound scanning and DNA collection at each farms twelve week visit. At the same time lambs are being drawn for slaughter with some impressive early growth evident for a second season.
Data collected through RamCompare is being integrated into the Combined Breed Analysis. Over 7,700 lambs and 63,000 additional measurements have already been captured. All kill data from this seasons lambs will be included as the months continue. This is a large dataset which the whole industry will benefit from in years to come.
RamCompare is identifying genes with the biggest impact on speed of finishing and carcase value. It is investigating new estimated breeding values for slaughter age, carcase weight, conformation and fat class.
Anticipation from industry is growing and the RamCompare team appreciates for those of you who put rams into the first year of the project it is a long wait but we look forward to launching the early results on Friday 17th November at the Sheep Breeders Round Table conference.
Funding has been secured to continue this project for a further three years following lambs through to slaughter until 2020. The RamCompare team are currently in the process of recruiting new farms into the project and have sent out a new call to industry to recruit new rams.
The closing date for ram nominations is Monday 26th June and pedigree recorded breeders are urged to send in nominations for this project as soon as possible. Nominations forms can be completed online or a form can be sent to complete and return to Bridget Lloyd at AHDB (contact details provided below).
Also, Dr Liz Genever from AHDB will be presenting an update on RamCompare on the AgriSearch stand at this year's NSA sheep NI 2017 event taken place at Ballymena Livestock Mart on the 3rd of July.
Presentations will take place at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm