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Oxford rams perform well on RamCompare

The 2023 results from RamCompare, the large-scale on farm nationwide progeny test being run by Signet have again highlighted the value of the Oxford as a terminal sire, with impressive results from a Weeton-bred ram used in Northumberland and a Lydiard-bred ram used in Hampshire. In both cases the rams were run with groups of approximately 60 Lleyn ewes.

Weeton ram

A ram bred by Ruth Steele in her Weeton Oxford Down flock at Hull, East Yorkshire was used by Duncan Nelless at Thistleyhaugh Farm, Morpeth, Northumberland.

This tup was one of only three native breed rans that made it into the top 20 for carcase weight across all breeds tested. The results from this ram show that high genetic merit, performance recorded Oxford Down rams can easily outperform a run of the mill ram from any other breed.

The Weeton ram has a best-in-breed Lamb Value EBV of £4.21. Lamb Value is an index which takes into account days to slaughter, carcase weight, carcase conformation and fat classification. It uses this information to work out how much extra each finished lamb produced by this ram is worth in monetary terms.

In the case of the Weeton ram, his lambs are worth £3.28 per lamb more than an average Oxford Down sired lamb. This is achieved through quicker growth to slaughter, higher carcase weight/killing out % and better EUROP classification for conformation and fat class.

If a ram sires a conservative 60 lambs per season then that is an extra £197 per year or an extra £591 over three seasons’ work. For a 400 ewe commercial flock that would equate to an extra £1970 per year if all the rams used performed as well as the Weeton ram.

Lydiard ram

At the other end of England, Lindsay Rumming’s Lydiard Oxford Down flock at Swindon, Wiltshire provided a ram for use by Ian Robertson at Chawton Park Farm, Alton, Hampshire.

This ram stood out against the competition at Chawton Park by producing progeny that on average reduced days to slaughter by 10 days compared to the farm average for the year.


Identifying the best genetics through performance recording pedigree flocks produces stock which when used by commercial sheep farmers can positively impact the profitability of their flocks.

Performance recorded Oxford Downs can be purchased from the flocks listed here:


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