The RamCompare project is calling on all pedigree sire breeders to take part and nominate their rams to join the 2024 breeding season.

Now in its ninth year, the national progeny test, joint funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC), is looking for rams or semen for use.

Since its launch in 2015, RamCompare has tested 468 terminal sire rams, producing more than 44,000 lambs from commercial ewes, mated using artificial insemination (AI) or natural service.

Results from the project enable commercial farmers to select superior performance-recorded rams, whose progeny are better-able to meet market specifications with improved efficiency, carcase value, and a reduced cost of production, according to the AHDB.

RamCompare project coordinator, Bridget Lloyd, said: “This is a great opportunity for breeders to get involved.

“Using their genetics within the national progeny test will provide them with important data which can be used to promote future ram sales.

“Improving efficiency and reducing costs are key drivers for any business. Investing in a recorded ram with the right genetic merit can help meet both these objectives.

“Nominating rams this season will give breeders a unique opportunity to get ahead in this important area of breed improvement and show potential buyers how their rams could benefit their enterprise.”

Judith Galbraith, owner of the Hampshire Down pedigree Graylen flock, said: “Having rams used in the RamCompare project is all about giving credibility to performance recording

“For commercial farmers, these are rams performing in commercial settings allowing them to see how high index rams truly add value.

“For us, as ram breeders, it’s about confirming what we are breeding and selecting for will make an important difference to our clients’ profitability and crucially, improves the accuracy of the information we provide to them.”


The animals are selected from a range of terminal sire breeds and used on commercial farms across the UK every year.

Progeny are monitored from birth to slaughter the following year, providing data to Signet for breeding evaluations.

Signet Breeding Services is part of AHDB and provides a performance recording service for pedigree sheep and beef breeders.

Bridget explained: “Signet’s routine genetic evaluations integrate the analysis of abattoir traits and publish them alongside a Lamb Value Index which helps to identify elite rams to breed from.”

The project is looking for breeds with Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) in the top 20% of the breed.

Natural service sires should be shearlings or stock rams with a known, high health status. Older stock rams are welcome providing they are fit and fertile.

RamCompare will also purchase frozen semen in batches of 30 doses for use via AI.

Nominations close on Friday, May 17 2024.