Ram Evaluation

SPANS, in cooperation with the Maritime Beef Test Society, AgSights and provincial sheep associations, have teamed to offer a 2021 Central Ram Evaluation to be hosted in Nappan, Nova Scotia.

This Central Ram Test is designed to provide Canadian purebred and commercial sheep producers with the necessary tools to evaluate the genetic potential of their performance-tested ram(s) as breeding stock, while offering important information used to evaluate their own flock’s genetic improvement program. The information generated in a Central Ram Evaluation can improve the marketability of rams and provide valuable information used as a selection tools to increase a sheep flocks productivity and profitability.

Traits to be evaluated during the 70-day spanning test period would include:

Feed Efficiency – Feed intake and feed efficiency can vary over 20% in a flock posing as a significant cost in sheep production systems. Daily feed intake will be recorded to measure how efficiently each ram converts feed to product (e.g. kg gain). Overtime a new feed efficiency EPD will also be developed that breeders and buyers can reference to identify genetically superior feed efficient rams. Improved feed efficiency across a flock can increase farm productivity and profitability (up to 33%) by improving lamb output while lower feed costs. Feed efficiency will be calculated using a method (Residual Feed Intake (RFI)) that assures that performance (daily weight gain and carcass merit) is not impacted, ensuring that breeders can select for rams that are both productive and efficient.

Average Daily Gain – Rams will be given an ad-libitum ration fed twice daily with individual ram feed intake and weights recorded daily over the 21-day acclimation and 70-day test period (91 days in total) using the GrowSafe feed intake system.

Ram Evaluation – Testimonial Video

Entry Forms:

1 2021 Memo to Producers

2 2021 Payment Memo

3 2021 Test Station Animal Policies

4 2021 Ram Application

5 2021 Ram Health Certification

Contact SPANS

7 Atlantic Central Drive
East Mountain, NS B6L 2Z2
Phone: 902-893-7455
Fax: 902-893-7063
novascotiasheep@gmail.com

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