18th July 2011

Free workshops offer sheep producers latest performance recording advice

With the main tup sales just around the corner, the Scottish Sheep Strategy is running a series of free of charge workshops to help farmers make sure their purchases aren’t based on looks alone.

The Quality Meat Scotland’s Scottish Sheep Strategy is running a series of four workshops in northern Scotland to give sheep farmers an overview of performance recording and estimated breeding values and how they can harness them to help remove some of the uncertainties from their businesses.

The results from the recently completed phase one of the sheep focus farm project showed that over the course of the project, the value of the high index tups averaged approximately £11 per ewe more than the low index tups and £5 per ewe more than the farm choice tups (unrecorded and purchased “by eye”).

Rod McKenzie, Development Manager for the Scottish Sheep Strategy, said: “The use of Performance Records and EBVs can help people remove some of the uncertainties in tup selection.

“Remember that all animals pass on their genes to following generations and that each trait, visual or invisible, is heritable. People can judge and decide on the visual traits that suit them, but it’s the things that cannot be seen that have a big influence on the profitability of sheep meat production. Using EBVs as an additional guide to selection will help people make a better informed decision.

“Not many people can tell much about this ‘Hidden Potential’ by looking at a tup for a few minutes in the sale pen, and then perhaps a minute in the ring. Likewise it is not possible to answer questions by eye such as whether he was a twin or a single or whether his mother was a good rearer or whether he has a good ratio of lean meat to fat?

“All these things are important for a business, yet for many people they are still an unknown quantity.”

The workshops are taking place on the following dates:

  • 10th August - Stracathro & Careston Estate, Tillyarblet, Glen Lethnot, Edzell DD9 7UL at 7.30 p.m
  • 23rd August - Nether Coullie, Kemnay, Inverurie , Aberdeenshire AB51 5LU at 7.30 p.m.
  • 13th September - Corriemony, Glenurguhart, Inverness-shire IV63 6TW at 7.30 p.m.
  • 28th September - Clynelish, Brora, Sutherland, KW9 6LR at 7.30 p.m.

The Sheep Strategy will also have a stand at The Cydectin Kelso Ram Sales on Friday 9th September.

To book a place on these free workshops or to enquire about Performance Recording and the availability of recorded tups, please contact Rod McKenzie on 07889 963907 or e-mail rod.mckenzie@sheepstrategy.org.uk or Claire Cant at QMS on 0131 472 4040 or ccant@qmscotland.co.uk

For more information about the Scottish Sheep Strategy visit www.scottishsheepstrategy.org.uk



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