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 are characteristics are referred to in the analysis as CTlean CTfat and CTmuscularity.

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. For further information, click here

‘Breeding a better flock’