Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Dr. Dan Waldron, 325-653-4576, email@example.com
SAN ANGELO – The annual ram performance test conducted by Texas AgriLife Research and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will begin with delivery of rams on Sept. 10-11 to the test’s new site, the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo.
The center is located north of San Angelo on U.S. Highway 87.
Dr. Dan Waldron, AgriLife Research geneticist at San Angelo and the test’s coordinator, said the test and March 15, 2013 field day at the test’s conclusion, are moving from the Texas AgriLife Research Station at Sonora due to current staffing reductions there.
Test animals may be registered or non-registered, he said. Only registered rams born between Oct. 1, 2011 and April 30, 2012 will be eligible for the American Rambouillet Sheep Breeders’ Association Registry of Merit program.
Cooperators wishing to enter more than 20 animals are asked to call Waldron before their animals arrive.
Complete animal information – including sire, type of birth, age of dam and birth date – is required by the first weigh day on Sept. 26. 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. 25. Aside from the initial Sept. 26 weigh-day, others are set for Nov.14 and Jan. 2, 2013 with the final weigh-day and shearing scheduled for Feb.13, 2013.
Waldron said the performance test includes Rambouillet genetics from some of the world’s best flocks.
“Since its start in 1948, the test has always been at Sonora where it’s sole purpose has been identifying and documenting superior rams to be used for flock improvement,” Waldron said. “And even with the move to San Angelo, that purpose remains the test’s primary goal.”
For more information on the test, contact Waldron or Dr. Frank Craddock, AgriLife Extension state sheep and goat specialist, San Angelo at 325-653-4576.
The test program’s website can be found at http://sanangelo.tamu.edu under the “Performance Tests” link.