Rumwell Bleu du Maine
History of the Breed
Breed Characteristics
Rumwell Flock and Show History
Sire Reference Scheme
Testing for Genotype
Breed performance figures
Breed Characteristics

Under the auspices of the 'Signet' Sheepbreeder, 10 Bleu du Maine members began recording within the group Blue Sires. Evaluating breed traits primarily of the ewe and identifying the best of these animals was the aim in the first year (1998) and then following through with a breed improvement programme using selected high performing (high SI) rams from the scheme. Where possible, only genotyped R1 rams would be selected with the best breed conformation, as this would speed up the process of increasing breed resistance to scrapie, as well as passing on those traits of fast lean growth to animals in Blue Sires flocks.

In Autumn 1998, 430 ewes were entered in the scheme and 25 stock sires were used. Results from 625 lambs were analysed.

Two founding members with large flocks decided to retire from farming in 1999 to be replaced by two new members in 2000. Only 253 ewes using 20 stock sires were recorded in the scheme in Autumn 1999.

Results from 412 lambs were analysed.

Initially selection of high index rams depended on assessing them as ram lambs. Linear assessment charts were completed for measuring conformation, muscle development, movement and breed character.

In 2000, ram lamb lists were run to show lambs (born Jan - March) above 120 points on the scheme index. Of the 70 ram lambs, 48 has been scanned at 21 weeks.

19 lambs were inspected by a judging panel and assessed for correct breed conformation.

Four lambs were selected and retained for breeding purposes.
At scanning they had averaged:
49.00 kg weight 28.43mm muscle 2.33mm fat

Picture of SRS ram lambs

In 2000, movement restrictions on livestock were imposed due to the foot and mouth disease outbreak in the UK. This coincided with a decision for the judges to assess only shearling rams (18 months old) on members' farms. These were ready for sale or to be retained for group use as 'core' rams. It was noticed that the stock rams only developed their full potential as shearlings All stock rams are genotyped R1 or R2. By 2002 the top10% of stock sires had a SI>198.

Further information on the SRS is available at the Blue Sires website:
www.bleudumainesires.co.uk

Ram lambs and Shearlings are for sale from Blue Sires members

Blue Scanned Indexed Recorded Evaluated Stock

BLUE SIRES

The Bleu du Maine Sire Reference Scheme in the UK

For more information on genetics check out www.cbstechnologies.co.uk