SONORA – The annual ram performance test conducted at the Texas AgriLife Research Station at Sonora will begin Sept.12-13 with delivery of rams to the station.
The station is located on State Highway 55 between Sonora and Rocksprings.
An annual field day and sale highlighting the end of the test is scheduled for March 16.
Dr. Dan Waldron, San Angelo-based AgriLife Research geneticist and the program’s coordinator, asks those intending to enter animals to contact him at 325-653-4576, or firstname.lastname@example.org by Aug. 25.
Test animals may be registered or non-registered. Only registered rams born between Oct. 1, 2010 and April 30, 2011 will be eligible for the American Rambouillet Sheep Breeders’ Association Registry of Merit program. Waldron said any animal showing yearling teeth will not be accepted.
Complete animal information – including sire, type of birth, age of dam and birth date – is required by the first weigh day. Animals without this information will be considered commercial rams.
Rams also should be individually identified by ear tag or tattoo, and tagged with the mandated scrapie tag.
Waldron recommends test animals be taught to eat from a feed trough before delivery. The rams will be treated against internal parasites and vaccinated against enterotoxemia immediately after arrival.
Rams should have at least one-half inch of wool at delivery.
A deposit of $400 per ram is due upon arrival. Any unused funds will be returned when the test is over.
Rams will be shorn before going on the test on Sept. 27. The initial weigh-day is set for Sept. 28. Other weigh-days are Nov.16 and Jan. 4 with the final weigh-day on Feb.15. The final shearing is set for Feb. 16.
Waldron said the performance test typically includes some of the top Rambouillet genetics in the world.
“Since its start in 1948, the Sonora Ram Performance Test has been conducted for the sole purpose of identifying and documenting superior rams to be used for flock improvement,” he said.
For more information on the Sonora ram test or the pasture-based test, contact Waldron, Dr. Frank Craddock at 325-653-4576, or call Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor at 325-387-3168. The test program’s Web site is: http://safiles.tamu.edu/genetics/ramtest.htm .-30-