Beltex breeders are stepping up Signet performance recording with a 60% increase in ewes and lambs evaluated on the year and an additional 50% more flocks. Furthermore, the breed is continuing to make strides in improved genetic gain.
The Beltex breed is continuing to make strides
in improved genetic gain
Since the Beltex-specific pilot performance recording system was launched in 2008, the average genetic merit of the recorded Beltex population is 0.6kg heavier at weaning and gigot depth has increased by 0.62mm, without any real significant rise in backfat depth. Mature size EBV has remained fairly static.
“This breed information is particularly exciting, demonstrating to pedigree breeders that performance recording will support their flock objectives and allow them to make more targeted selection decisions and speed up the rate of positive change they bring about in their flock,” says Signet breed specialist, Alison Glasgow. “It also demonstrates to buyers of Beltex sheep that recorded animals are available within the breed with identified genetics that will match a range of selection criteria.”
Beltex Sheep Society chairman, Maimie Paterson comments: “Overall, the results suggest that Beltex breeders are selecting breeding animals demonstrating both better lamb growth and better muscularity, but without changing the mature size of the breed to any extreme, one way or another.
We are also pleased that more breeders are performance recording their flocks. Performance recording will not only to help them to make more informed selection decisions but also help meet demand from an increasing number of commercial sheep producers keen to invest in performance recorded Beltex whose genetic merit has already been identified.
“Furthermore, we are optimistic that providing commercial producers with new opportunities to invest in Signet performance recorded rams will inject new and significant demand for the Beltex, in particular from the mainstream market in central and southern England and also Wales where the society’s new long-term marketing drive is focused.”
For details of all animals and breeders involved in the Beltex evaluation scheme see www.signetfbc.co.uk EBV Search.
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