More sheep farms sought for second phase of RamCompare project

AHDB has called for more sheep farmers to take part in the industry-led RamCompare genetic improvement scheme as it moves into its second phase.

The scheme, which aims to improve sheep genetics through the inclusion of commercial data in evaluation, has been running multi-breed trials on six farms.

See also: RamCompare project seeks rams 

The next stage of the project will test more rams and represent a wider range of breeds.

Scheme support

The RamCompare project will contribute towards the costs of additional labour, provide semen and appropriate medicines and relevant veterinary input. Rams will be provided free of charge and producers will be paid a ram maintenance allowance. Training on lamb selection and ewe body scoring will be given, if required.

Organisers are now looking to establish another five satellite farms focusing on one or two specific breeds, with the aim of mating more than 3,000 ewes with RamCompare sires in autumn 2017.

Project co-ordinator Bridget Lloyd said: “The extension to the project provides an opportunity for additional farms and breeds to be included.

“Abattoir data from lambs sired by a larger team of performance-recorded rams will be used as part of the genetic evaluations.

“As a result of the first phase of this project, new estimated breeding values (EBVs) are being developed, including days to slaughter, carcass fat class, carcass conformation and carcass weight. Phase two will enable us to build on this work.”

The second phase will run from tupping 2017 through to lamb sales in 2020.

To take part flocks will need to meet strict criteria:

  • Flock size 250-320 ewes of the same breed that can be crossed with terminal sires
  • Able to use a combination of artificial insemination and single sire natural service groups
  • Experienced EID user with own equipment
  • Willing to tag and fully record lambs at birth, plus record weights at 56 days, 90 days and sale
  • Able to rear all trial lambs from a similar system
  • Willing to supply trial lambs to processor partners in the project
  • Running active health plan and known health status, clear of Maedi Visna (MV), Ovine Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma (OPA) and Johne’s Disease.

How to get involved

For more information and to request a flock nomination form contact More details at The closing date for flock nominations is 29 May 2017.