The Bearwood Lleyn flock is part of a research project that is identifying sheep that are more resistant to common British round worms. Professor Mike Stear from the University of Glasgow has developed a saliva test, which alongside a Faecal Egg Count (FEC) can determine lambs that a genetically more resistant to worms than others. A small group of Lleyn breeders have obtained funding to get a proportion of their 2014 lamb crop tested. The test involves putting the lambs under a worm burden and then taking a saliva swab and dung sample. Independent sheep consultant, Catherine Nakielny is collecting the swabs and FEC samples during the next 4 weeks and Professor Stear will analyze the data collected and have the results by the end of the autumn. Sam Boon of Signet Breeding Services is overseeing the research project and hopes to produce an Estimated Breeding Value (EBV) in the future.
This is an exciting project as worm resistance to common British round worms is becoming a major problem within the UK sheep flock. Breeding sheep that are genetically resistant to worms will help the commercial sheep producer increase his returns. Lambs will finish quicker with less worm treatments.
Results of this research project will be posted here as soon as they become available.