The strategy of evaluation of breeding stock
All of our breeding programmes depend, in the first place, on the regular performance testing of flocks on farms carried out by Ovins Croissance. This concerns 30,000 ewes across the 220 farmers in our cooperative.
The gathered information gathered when validated enables:
- An initial individual assessment of the animals up to weaning.
- A genetic evaluation of the fathers and mothers of the individual sheep , principally based on 2 types of performance: maternal qualities (fertility,prolificacy, milk value and productivity) and meat quality ( growth and carcass conformation)
Continuing the genetic assessment of the individuals after weaning is possible for the best stock after an individual evaluation of meat quality traits at 3 months in a ram evaluation centre. About 100 young rams from each of the meat breeds are monitored in this way every year.
The 10 best rams of each generation, assessed in the breed centres of the BERRICHON DU CHER, ROUGE DE L’OUEST and SUFFOLK breeds are then evaluated by their progeny. This selection programme, to assess the meat qualities, is implemented by genetic centres working with GE.O.DE
The top rams are qualified as ‘Improvers’ and are then destined to be used via Artificial Insemination.