Terms and Health declaration

RamCompare is seeking rams and semen for the coming season.

RamCompare is the UK’s commercial progeny test for terminal sires. This project is jointly funded by AHDB, HCC, QMS and AgriSearch, with support from Sainsbury’s and its processors – Dunbia and Randall Parker Foods.

This is the fifth year RamCompare have sought rams from the industry, with updated results from the first three years of the project being launched in April 2019, in preparation for the ram selling season; see www.ramcompare.com. Any ram breeding businesses involved will gain from new information on how their ram’s progeny performed for commercially relevant traits.  New estimated breeding values (EBVs) on carcase weight, carcase fat and carcase conformation are available because of this work. Primal and shear force EBVs have now been developed and will be incorporated from the spring.

The cost of testing a ram within the project is nearly £5,000 per ram. The rates offered for ram and semen purchase recognise that breeders engaged in the project are contributing towards the scheme.

Ram selection criteria
For the AI sires, there is a minimum requirement of 30 doses.  However, if more doses are available, this is useful to know. We are interested in semen available for use in Great Britain only.

For natural service sires, preference is given to rams that are shearlings or older. Nominations of fit and fertile, older stock rams are welcome. 

RamCompare is seeking rams and semen based on the following preferences:

- EBVs in top 20% or better for the breed
- Good history of performance records taken on the ram and his contemporaries/progeny (for example, ultrasound scan, computed tomography (CT) data)
- Shearling (in autumn 2019) or older
- Good and known health status - see health declaration below
- Good connectedness to other flocks in the breed
- Different breeding lines compared to rams already tested
- The seller being a current, active and paid up member of Signet's flock recording service

The final decision relating to the procurement of rams and semen will be made by AHDB.

Open nomination places

Nominated places may be filled by Suffolk, Texel, Charollais, Meatlinc, Hampshire Down, Poll Dorset, Beltex, Blue Texel, Bleu du Maine, Vendeen, Shropshire or Southdown rams. These terminal sire breeds are actively performance recording and are included within the national terminal sire analysis. Other terminal sire breeds may be considered subject to availability. Preference will be given to breeds capable of providing both an AI and a natural service sire to go onto the same farm. 

Supporting RamCompare

Whilst rams and semen still need to meet the criteria listed above, some breeders have already offered to provide rams and semen free of charge. This contribution is noted and further offers of this type can be made through the online nomination process.  

The deadline for ram nominations is Friday 8 March 2019.