September 2023

Breed for CH4nge – Breeding for Low Methane Sheep

We have been actively involved in research into worm resistance in sheep for over 7 years. For the last 3 years we have participated in research that has honed down to using Serum IgA. By quantifying IGA concentrations, farmers can identify sheep with high IGA levels, indicating a strong potential for parasite resistance and to also reduce the level of worm egg transmission significantly on to pasture. Excitingly parasite resistance has high levels of heritability – 35/40%. This clearly has important implications for farmers.

We are pleased that this year we are now able to offer rams carrying these important genes. (See our “animals for sale”).

Signet now have Serum IgA and Parasite Plus EBVs for those few flocks that are participated in this research.

Lleyn Performance Recording Group, in which we are a founder member were pleased to announce in July that we will also participate in the new 3 year national Net Zero sheep project research group – Breed for CH4nge. You will no doubt have seen a lot of publicity on this important new research initiative.

However important combatting worm resistance in sheep is for the future, continuing to also focus on the other key elements of breeding for profitability such as Maternal, Prolificacy, Muscle and Fat will remain.

Each year farmers are starting their search for breeding animals earlier and earlier as they attempt to ensure that they can achieve first choice. This year all our shearling ewes were gone in the first few days of July. I have 20 full mouth ewes for sale later this summer.

Although a number of shearling rams have been sold off the farm to date, I still have some very nice animals left. Remember these are all grass fed. They are also all either Top 5% or Top 10% Breed Index EBVs, and carry the IgA Serum and Parasite Plus EBVs. See also www. Sellmylivestock.