Secretary: Andrew John Darkes House
Conderton Tewkesbury Gloucestershire GL20 7PP
Tel/Fax: 01386 725229
With the showing season well under way it looks like sheep breeders are going to be able to view and buy livestock again especially at shows and sales.
Due to the success and interest we had last season the British Vendéen Sheep Society has decided to put together another database of livestock for sale in order to give the buyer and insight to animal pedigrees, scanning details and scrapie resistance.
More and more emphasis has to be put on to an animals scanning figures when buying a ram as more progeny is being sold through abattoirs. The majority of sheep breeders are missing out by not being paid on the grading grid, and being paid on a base price. A ram gives 50% of its genetic traits to its progeny, thus using a high indexed ram with high muscle depths and low fat depths will result in its progeny being killed out at improved grades, and resulting in extra income from lamb sales.
This database consists of a list British Vendéen Sheep Society members who have stock for sale, whether its rams or ewes, lambs or older animals. From this list one can access breeders individual flock databases by clicking on their flock name.
One hopes this service is of some use to you ( Will Vernon-Miller )
The example below shows what information is given to you about each individual animal and what the figures mean.
This example shows the basic pedigree information about the certain animal in question e.g. its identification number, the flock where it was bred, it’s name if a ram and whether it has been notified in the society, what it was born as and when it was born.
Other information in this table shows the animals sire, dam and the sire of its dam. It also lists the animals scrapie genotype which can be one of 3 outcomes.
RR (R1) – Indicates a very low risk of scrapie in the individual sheep and a low risk in first generation
RQ (R2) – Indicates a low risk in individual sheep, but some progeny may be at risk depending on
genotype of other parent.
QQ (R3) – Indicates sheep that are slightly susceptible, and their offspring would be more likely to be
susceptible, than the offspring of R3 genotypes.
NT – Not Tested.
EST – Indicates an estimated genotype, for example when the animals dam is a known QQ and the sire a known RR, the offspring’s genotype would be an estimated RQ.
Some members of the British Vendéen Sheep Society have been playing an active roll in scrapie genotyping their livestock. They believe it will play an ever increasing part in the eradication of scrapie as sheep are the only species for which it is possible to breed for resistance. Therefore using a RR ram would mean that all of the rams offspring would have a R in their genes, the other gene being determined by the genotype of the dam. Thus meaning that the rams offspring have now inherited a low risk of scrapie susceptibility.
The importance of using RR rams is becoming more apparent, as pedigree breeders are building up scrapie resistance in their flocks in order to sell them to the commercial producer where in turn the resistant genes should become more apparent in the national flock.
Some animals on the database will be accompanied with sire reference scheme figures - part of the British Vendéen Sheep Society's breed development programme which was started in 1990. The following table will accompany those animals which are in the sire reference scheme (SRS).
8 Week Weight
|Sire Reference Scheme INDEX
- Column 1 This is the animals estimated breeding value (kg) for growth to eight weeks. Superiority (or inferiority) of the animals own genes for early growth.
- Column 2 The animals estimated breeding value (kg) for scan weight (around 20 weeks).
- Column 3 The animals estimated breeding value (mm) for muscle depth.
- Column 4 The animals estimated breeding value (mm) for fat depth.
- Column 5 A combination of the EBV’s for Scan, Muscle and Fat scaled approximately to the range of 0 – 200 on which the animals are ranked. High values indicate animals which are fast growing, well muscled and lean. The society’s average index for the year 2002 is 216.
The figures in columns 1 – 5 above are based on the scheme average, e.g.. its 8 week weight is 0.78 kgs above the scheme average and its fat depth is – 0.40 mm below the scheme average.
EBV’s are calculated for each of the measured traits. This is a direct indication of the superiority or inferiority (i.e. merit) of the genes the animal has itself for each of these traits. An animal will pass on half its genes (and therefore half its EBV) to any offspring.
Some animals on the database will also be accompanied with a picture as ‘buyers’ may want to see the animal. This is a lengthy process so not all of the animals will be accompanied with pictures.