QMS initiates performance recording for sheep

Producers who run sheep in a commercial “hard hill” business could benefit from using performance recorded genetics, said Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Rural affairs cabinet secretary Richard Lochhead announced the initiative at the NSA Highland Sheep’s Dingwall event yesterday (30 May).

QMS livestock development manager Kathy Peebles said the project would be “centred on four farms where recorded rams were put out with the ewes last autumn so there are now offspring on the ground.”

She added: “This part of the project is aimed at ensuring we have viable hill sheep production, and genetics play a leading role in ensuring the survivability and profitability of the stock and the people whose livelihoods rely on the return from their animals.”

The project is a further step in QMS’ Scottish Sheep Strategy Better Breeding Project and the new project will be undertaken on the Isle of Skye over the next two years.

Lochhead said: “The evaluation project being run by QMS will give farmers the information they need to show that using performance recorded tups will yield both financial and production gains. The focus farms have clearly shown that making use of genetic information improves the bottom line.”