The Performance Recorded Lleyn Group
In early 2014 a group of progressive like-minded flocks spread across the UK established the Performance Recorded Lleyn Group (PRLG) to use performance recording and genetics to improve net margins in our sheep businesses. Initially 24 Lleyn flocks, the PRLG are seeking to encourage the movement of genetic material between flocks (rams, semen, embryos) to improve linkage and hence the accuracy of EBV’s.
During the autumn of 2014, we participated in a new research project led by Professor Mike Stear at Glasgow Veterinary School. His work has shown that the detection of the levels of an anti-parasitic antibody is a better indicator of resistance to worm infection than Faecal Egg Counts (FEC). This has led him to develop a saliva test for the antibody. The test also has several practical advantages over FEC, as it is easier to carry out, cheaper and unaffected by the use of drenches or pour-ons.
With the help of the Farm Innovation Grant, PRLG are working with Professor Stear and independent sheep consultant Dr Catherine Nakielny to again carry out several thousand tests on member’s lambs this summer. This will act as a further important intermediary step between the completed research phase and the development of a full commercial test.
Breeding for parasite resistance has been identified as a key aim of the PRLG and we are excited to be involved with this important new development at such an early stage. Initial results are exciting. The commercial implications for breeding rams with high tolerance or immunity to roundworm is clear.