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Signet Recording Scheme

Signet, part of AHDB, provide the Sheepbreeder recording scheme. This uses breeding information (sire, dam, date of birth, etc) and performance information (weights, ultrasonic measurements for eye-muscle and fat) to provide Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) for various traits. The main traits are 8 week weight, Mature Size, Litter Size, Maternal Ability, Scan Weight, Muscle Depth and Fat Depth. Some breeders have also been taking advantage of CT technology to enable the production of a Gigot muscularity EBV.

Some of the EBVs are combined into an Index. In the case of Suffolk’s and other terminal sires, the index objective is to select superior animals to increase lean meat yield in the carcase whilst limiting any associated rise in fatness.

The Signet evaluations are analysed by Egenes at SAC and are supported with funding from Eblex, HCC and QMS levy boards.

Breed Performance

Maturity at Lambing Number of lambs born Range
Shearling Ewes 1.58 1.3 – 1.8
Mature Ewes 1.7171 1.5 – 1.9
Number of lambs Shearlings Mature Ewes
Singles 5.2kg 5.6kg
Twins 4.2kg 4.7kg
Triplets 3.7kg 4.0kg


Ranges reflect different production systems, time of lambing and intensity of feeding and finishing. Ewe lambs achieve 90-92% of ram lamb figures. Suffolk cross lambs easily achieve 40kg weights at 15-16 weeks with the ideal 3mm backfat.
Days Weight/scan Range
56 (8 weeks) 32.6kg 25kg to 41.3kg
147 (21 weeks) 70.5kg 47kg to 88.1kg
147 muscle 35mm 29mm to 46.8mm
147 fat 4.31mm 1.5mm to 8mm

Signet Sheepbreeder

Download “Buying a recorded Suffolk” factsheet here

Lamb Vigour Scoring

Click here to download “Lamb Vigour Scoring System”

For more information from Signet Breed Services website click here

Suffolk Breed Benchmarks

For details of the Breed Benchmarks Analysed on Terminal Sire Index please click here

For more information see the Signet website here


Suffolk Sheep Society Ltd
Fenaghy Road
Galgorm, Ballymena
Co. Antrim
BT42 1FL

Phone: +44 (0) 28 2563 2342
Fax: +44 (0) 28 2563 2342

Chief Exec:

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