Innovis Sheep Breeding Programme

We are the leading supplier of sheep genetics and sheep breeding technologies to the UK livestock industry.

Our nucleus flock based in the Scottish Borders and 23 breeding partner flocks around the UK record a total of 11,000 breeding ewes for 40 commercially important traits.

Each flock manages the breeding ewes on a forage-based system and under commercial conditions, ensuring that we produce rams suited to the environment where you need them to work.  

We strive to produce rams which will enhance the quality, efficiency and profitability of your flocks by accessing and breeding superior bloodlines.

To achieve this, we apply the latest knowledge, tools and technical expertise to breeding our stock and are committed to research and development in the sheep industry.  

The result is several breeding lines of Meat and Maternal rams, suited to meet your individual needs as a modern sheep farmer. Find out more about our meat and maternal breeding lines .

Focus Genetics

5 rams online in a field
Our partners, Focus Genetics in New Zealand are as committed to research and development as we are.

Focus Genetics have the largest recorded DNA gene pool in New Zealand and extensively use DNA Shepherd Plus parentage technology to breed stock with improved meat and maternal traits.

Genetic Gain

Real improvements backed by data

The extensive measurement of economically important traits to help identify the very best animals for breeding, means that our breeding programme delivers continuous genetic improvement of the main profit drivers in commercial flocks.

Bred on forage to perform on forage

Management of our breeding flocks is focussed on replicating best practice in forage-based systems. Challenging our sheep in our own systems gives us the confidence that we are identifying the best genetics to perform in our customers flocks.

Graph of the Innovis breeding sheep program improvements for two breeds of sheep
Highlander sheep breeding index chart showing improvements to the breed
Abermax sheep breeding index chart showing improvements to the breed
Innovis breeding sheep chart showing improvements on the Aberfield sheep index
Innovis breeding sheep chart showing improvements to the Primera sheep breed index
Aberblack rams online index chart showing performance statistics
Chart showing range of rams online index values

Year on year improvements

Our geneticists work hard to ensure that the rams on offer each year are always moving forward.

Better rams are on offer every year.

Breeding Sheep That Work For You

Sheep breeding data chart showing lambing ease and assistance to lamb data set values
Sheep breeding chart showing lamb vigour and assistance to suckle data sets

Traits that matter

With continuous improvement in important traits such as lamb growth, carcase composition and number of lambs reared as well as lambing ease, lamb vigour and lamb survival we breed sheep that get on with the job and leave you more lambs to sell.

Cutting costs without compromising performance

Cost of production is an important driver of profit in all flocks. Our breeding programmes balance improvements in flock output with reducing inputs in key traits, such as ewe weight and assistance required at lambing time.

Balanced selection delivers all-round performance

Breeding based solely on culling poor performers cannot deliver improvements in all the traits that contribute to a high performing animal. We combine EBVs for all the traits that are important into a carefully designed selection index for each line to identify the best all round performers to use in our breeding programmes.

Using Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) in Your Flock

5 rams online in a field

At Innovis, we calculate our EBVs within each breed. With so much diversity in UK flock systems, the needs of each system differ greatly and making sense of the EBVs can be a daunting task.

To ensure that you’re well-armed with all the information you need to select the most suitable ram for your system, our geneticists have put together a simple guide explaining how we collect and analyse our data, what the figures mean and most importantly, how to use them to select the best ram for you.