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.
|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|
|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|
Download “Buying a recorded Suffolk” factsheet here
Signet Recorded Suffolk Sheep – Helping Commercial Farmers Profit from Performance
The Suffolk breed has made tremendous progress since flock recording began in the 1980’s. Signet’s recording service has changed over time with the incorporation of new traits and indexes, but the launch of the National Terminal Sire Evaluation in 2019 was the biggest changed for a decade.
The National Terminal Sire Evaluation is a multi-breed analysis.
More commercially focussed carcase traits
Historically traits like muscle depth have been adjusted for age to identify lambs that lay down muscle at a certain age, regardless of weight. Breeders can already select for growth rate, so a better approach is to assess muscling independently from growth i.e. a comparison of muscling/fatness at a fixed weight, rather than a fixed age.
Within the updated evaluation all carcase trait EBVs are weight adjusted, rather than age adjusted. The new approach is advantageous for commercial producers as it enables them to optimise muscling and finish when lambs are drawn at a fixed weight.
EBVs from Computed Tomography (CT)
Over the last 15 years over 10,000 lambs have been CT scanned and additional measures collected. Within the new evaluation, EBVs are produced for spine traits (length and vertebra number), muscle area and predicted intramuscular fat (IMF) – as well as lean meat yield, fat yield and gigot muscularity.
Why Record my Suffolk Flock?
Signet recording adds value to pedigree flocks
Greater interest from commercial buyers
Improve breeding decisions and the sheep in your flock
If you want to take your flock forward, add value to your breeding stock and promote your genetics, then start recording with Signet
What does it cost to record with Signet?
The current cost of online recording is £95/flock plus an additional headage payment based on the number of ewes lambing in the flock. Full details are available on the Signet website. Ultrasound scanning services are charged separately. Typically, £175/visit for 100 lambs.
How can I get involved?
Signet offers online recording services, so getting started has never been easier and costs are ~£50-100/flock less than three years ago.
Flocks considering recording their flock can contact Signet directly for a starter pack, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading Recorded Suffolk Genetics
Signet produce a new Terminal Sire analysis each month updating the breeding values held for Suffolk sheep. All the latest Suffolk information can be found here, including a number of listings showing the leading Signet Recorded Suffolk genetics. Remember that the top ram lamb list will increase as the season progresses and the later lambing Suffolk flocks are included.
Find a Recorded Suffolk Flock
Suffolk Breed Benchmarks
Suffolk Sheep Society Ltd