members

Julie Bury (JUB)
Laine Daff (BLG)
Robin Johnson - Chairman (AP) - (flock visit info)
Stan Kilby (AST)
Janet Richardson - Secretary (JER)
Johnny Stables - (YY)

About Blue Sires

Blue Sires was formed in 1998 with the objectives of evaluating the breed and designing a strategy for improvement. 


The evaluation showed that the Bleu du Maine had good litter size and mothering (maternal) ability but had some disadvantages as a terminal sire.


Although mature size was acceptable, both growth rate and muscularity needed to be improved for the commercial market. 


This comprises finishing cross-bred lambs on grass and producing cross-bred Bleu ewes as flock replacements.

The results from the Signet Sheepbreeder Programme have shown excellent improvement during the years since the group was founded.


These characteristics or traits are defined by Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs). The rapid progress in 8week weight, scan weight and muscling are shown in Graph 1 and Graph 2 below.

High index rams are used across all the Blue Sires flocks. Top stock rams are selected at 18 months of age (Fig 3 and Fig 4). Visual appreciation and handling still has a part to play. Correct conformation and breed characters are taken into account but these are now supported by EBVs which give a truer picture of the breeding potential of a ram.

Link to the Bleu Du Maine Society site - http://www.bleudumaine.co.uk

Fig 1. Bleu x Hampshire Down ewes with lambs

Fig 2. Bleu x Cheviot shearling ewes


Fig 3. Assessment day (2005)

Fig 4. Assessment day (2007)