2015-02-20   facebooktwitterrss

Charollais Index Updated to Reduce Days to Slaughter

Signet Breeding Services has produced a new breeding index to improve the growth rates and the speed of finishing Charollais-sired lambs.

The new index retains the changes made ten years ago to penalise sheep with very low fat depth EBVs. It will now also reduce the emphasis currently applied to sheep with genetically lower levels of fat within the overall carcase.

Charollais Sheep Society

Charollais Ram
photo: Charollais Sheep Society

The use of Estimated Breeding Values and Breeding Indexes are a proven way to enhance commercial sheep production. These changes will lead to the production of well-muscled, faster-growing, but slightly fatter Charollais sheep.

The improvements are expected to further increase the commercial value of Charollais-sired lambs by performance-recorded rams. Trials have shown the financial benefit of choosing the right recorded ram can exceed £1000 over its working lifetime.

Breeders engaged in this technology have made huge genetic gains in commercially-important traits since the launch of the Charollais Sire Reference Scheme 25 years ago.

Jonathan Barber, Charollais Sires chairman, said: “The Charollais breed is a pioneer of progressive breeding. The use of performance records, ultrasound scanning and computed tomography has done a tremendous job identifying elite terminal sires. These changes are a natural progression, which ensures high-index Charollais sires meet the needs of the industry.”

Samuel Boon, EBLEX Breeding Specialist, said:
“The original index has done a great job for the Charollais breed. These changes will provide lambs with slightly higher levels of finish on lower input systems – with slightly faster growth rates. Ultimately these changes are a win-win for the breed.

“However, at a national level nearly 27 per cent of lambs are still fatter (3H or more) than market requirements, so producers are urged to select lambs for slaughter carefully and use the right genetics to optimise market returns.”

Signet

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