Signet Performance Recording

Signet Breeding Services, part of AHDB, provide genetic evaluations to Hampshire Down members to help them identify sheep with superior breeding potential.

The Signet Sheepbreeder recording scheme, uses a combined analysis of pedigree and performance records to generate a range of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Breeding Indexes to help breeders identify genetically superior rams and ewes.

The main traits are as follows

  • Eight-week weight
  • Mature size
  • Litter size
  • Maternal ability
  • Scan weight
  • Muscle depth
  • Fat depth

Breeders also have the opportunity to CT scan to achieve a more accurate analysis of their animals’ carcass traits. These characteristics are referred to in the analysis as CT lean, CT fat and CT gigot muscularity.

EBVs are combined in an Index to enable breeders to select animals with faster growth rates and to increase lean meat yield in the carcase whilst limiting any associated rise in fatness. This data further enhances the accuracy of the terminal sire index.

The Signet evaluations are analysed by EGENES and are supported with funding from AHDB Beef and Lamb, HCC and QMS levy boards.

The Signet website provides a wealth of information about performance recording. Technical information is hosted at www.signetfbc.co.uk whilst recorded animals can be found on the online database at www.signetdata.com

IMPORTANT CHANGES FROM 2019

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Indexes for Terminal Sire breeds have been updated. Signet’s new monthly, mixed breed analysis increases the commercial focus of existing traits and introduces a series of new EBVs. For a more detailed explanation of the National Terminal Sire Evaluation go to www.signetfbc.co.uk/terminal-sire-evaluation

Key Changes

Rebasing – EBVs and indexes have been rebased and are expressed relative to the average animal in 2010.

Weight adjusted traits – Please note that carcase traits are now weight adjusted. This means that EBVs are a better prediction of carcase composition at a fixed weight. Example: A ram with a muscle depth EBV of +2mm is estimated to produce lambs with loin depths 1mm deeper at a fixed weight than a ram with an EBV of 0.