The preliminary findings of Signet's RamCompare project have now been published and, according to the initial results, Suffolk Recorded Rams are still the market leader, sacrificing top spot on confirmation to lead the way on growth and carcass finish driving profitability for the commercial farmer.
Robin McIlrath, Suffolk Sheep Society Chief Executive, said “we know this is the preliminary results, however, this study confirms what we always suspected, suffolk sired lambs deliver much faster growth rates than other terminal sire breeds. The results also show that we perform best in producing deep muscling across the loin. This, coupled with the levels of fat recorded, delivers exactly what the commercial farmer wants – excellent weight on an ‘R’ Grade carcass which is easier finished than leaner breeds.”
Similar to central progeny tests that are taking place in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, the RamCompare project is designed to trial strategies for capturing commercial data on slaughter lambs in the UK sheep industry.
The first stage of the project was to develop a network of commercial farms using terminal sires from the recorded top 20% in their respective breeds who use artificial insemination (AI) and single-sire mating to produce a crop of over 500 lambs per farm per year. In the UK sheep industry the sire of slaughter lambs is not usually known, so this approach enabled sire information to be collected.
Click here to access the RamCompare webpage