Performance recording to achieve better returns from sheep breeding
enterprises is the theme of a new manual, available free to all
English producers, from the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX).
Produced by EBLEX Sheep Better Returns and MLC’s Signet
Breeding Services, the illustrated Breed
a better pedigree flock manual explains why sheep breeders should record their flocks
and covers how to plan a breeding strategy and the use of Estimated
Breeding Values (EBVs) as measures of breeding potential for
Both pedigree sheep breeders and commercial producers benefit
from performance recording of breeding flocks. Pedigree breeders
selling rams with high EBVs regularly achieve sale premiums,
and achieve high clearance rates . For commercial producers,
Defra-funded trials showed that lambs sired by rams with good
EBVs delivered an extra £2.50-£3.00 in returns.
“Interest in recording has rocketed since the start of
the EBLEX Sheep Better Returns Programme in 2003,” said
Sam Boon of Signet, who worked with EBLEX to produce the new
manual. “Commercial demand for recorded rams has increased
in what has been generally a difficult year for selling rams.
This manual, which is already endorsed by several leading Sheep
Breed Societies, provides a valuable starting point for new breeders
and will encourage others to begin recording,” he said.
English sheep producers can request their free copies of the
Breed a better pedigree flock manual by calling 0870 241 8829
or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with their full address details.
The Sheep Better Returns Programme was funded by Defra from
the Sheep National Envelope and delivered by EBLEX between 2003
and 2005. EBLEX now funds the ongoing core activities for Sheep
Better Returns, which continues to provide practical events and
technical information. Additional support from Regional Development
Agencies is used to extend the programme of events regionally.
The technical input for the new manual was provided by MLC Signet
Breeding Services with writing and publication funded by EBLEX
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