School of Agriculture

2011 Illinois Performance Ram Test

General Information

The purpose of the Illinois ram testing program is to identify animals and lines of breeding which are superior in performance. Testing also eliminates guessing at performance – the figures are here! The rams have also been screened for soundness of feet and legs and mouth. While testing a ram doesn't transform him into a superior ram by itself, breeders generally enter their more growthy rams, and the performance figures tell the story. Even a ram listed towards the bottom of the sale is not necessarily a poor ram because it made it through the competition to be in the sale. The rams have been fed a complete, pelleted ration, plus a small amount of hay from the start of the test period until today. Proper care and feeding after the sale and through their first year should result in good health, growth and breeding performance. While all rams were vaccinated twice for enterotoxemia and wormed twice, it would be advisable to booster them for enterotoxemia and re-worm them after they have been on your farm for a few weeks. Since rams may fight when first mixed, put them in s small pen for the first few days. Feed the ram enough to keep him in good condition, but not too fat. Keep him free of parasites and allow him plenty of shade and room for exercise. Don't expect a ram lamb to breed in a group of more than 15-20 ewes. Check his breeding performance with either paint or a marking harness. If a problem develops, notify the breeder immediately. It is also important to note that rams from two different test groups are being offered for sale. One group was tested for 84 days, the other for 63 days. Do not try to compare rams across the two test groups. The rams tested for 84 days were tested over a longer period, generally to a heavier weight, and their test period involved different weather conditions.

Sale Conditions

All purchases are at the owner’s risk as soon as sold and must be paid for in cash or by check before being removed. The auctioneer's decision will be final on any disputed bids. All animals will be transferred to buyers at seller's expense and are guaranteed breeders if kept in breeding condition. Complaints and adjustments are to be made between the purchaser and the breeder. Neither ILWP, WIU, nor their personnel are responsible for accident and injury to lambs which have been sold. Health certificates will be provided on each lamb. We hope you will be able to be with us. If you are unable to, however, the following people will gladly take your mail bids and work with you on getting the ram you want: Mark Hoge 309/255-2735, Curt Overcash 815/284-1359, or any of the breeders.

Come early and check out our offering. A food stand is available on the grounds.

Performance Information

ADG:x.xx 63) The average daily gain of the ram while on test. The 63 refers to the length of the test period. S/S, Tw/ Tw, Tr / S Ram’s type of birth and type of rearing Ewe Prod. This number indicates the ram's potential to sire daughters that have a good lamb drop. It is based on the lifetime productivity of the ram's mother, plus his sire's type of birth.

Scrotal Circ.: Circumference of the scrotum at the largest point, measured in centimeters. REA: and Fat: Ribeye area and fat measurement at the twelfth rib, ultrasonically scanned when the rams came off test. Both of these figures are adjusted to a 150 pound basis. Thus the figures represent what the ram would have for muscling and fat if he weighed 150 pounds, not necessarily what he has today.

Feed Eff: The amount of feed consumed per pound of body weight gain.

General Index: A general index that combines the average daily gain, feed efficiency, ribeye area, ribfat and ewe productivity of the ram into one figure to allow a good comparison between rams for total performance. The general index evaluates all six traits according to their economic importance.

Terminal Sire Index: A terminal sire index similar to the general index except that only average daily gain, feed efficiency, ribeye area and ribfat are evaluated. This index is best used to evaluate rams to be used primarily to produce market lambs.

Maternal Line Index: A replacement sire index similar to the general index except that more emphasis is placed on ewe productivity. This index is best used to evaluate rams that will be used primarily to sires replacement ewes.

Directions

From the North and South: Take highway 67 to the north edge of Macomb and turn west on Tower Road. Go about one mile, and just past the university golf course, on your left, the large metal building on your left is the WIU Livestock Center.

From the East: Take highway 136 until it joins highway 67 at the east edge of Macomb. Then take highway 67 to the north edge of Macomb and turn west on Tower Road. Go about one mile, and just past the university golf course, on your left, the large metal building on your left is the WIU Livestock Center.

From the West: Take highway 136 into Macomb and turn left (north) onto Wigwam Hollow Road (there is a stop light and a Casey's at that intersection). Follow Wigwam Hollow Road north, and just before it intersects with Tower Road, the WIU Livestock Center will be on your right side.

Special Thanks

A special thank-you to the Illinois Sheep and Wool Marketing Board and Kent Feeds for sponsoring the free lamb barbecue prior to the sale.

Special thanks to Bruce Engnell and Brent Heaton of the WIU School of Agriculture and the WIU students for their care of the rams while on test. Special thanks also to Karen Whalon and Donna Pestle for helping clerk the sale.

Contact Information

Mark Hoge, Associate Professor
Office: Knoblauch Hall 314
Phone: (309) 298-2537
Email: MD-Hoge@wiu.edu
Sale Phone: (309) 255-2735

Test Results & Photos

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