Abstract

 There have been many advances for the sheep industry in the last two decades with large improvements in technology for more efficient and reliable data collection and measurement and more information and analysis available for better informed ram selection decisions.  With much focus on increasing genetic gain, ease of management and reduction in cost there has been much less focus on ewe selection within flocks for lifetime performance. This paper discusses the opportunities (using simulation and prediction models with optimising capabilities) to make better use of information already available to producers, which not only enables higher economic benefit for current production from animals but also complements genetic gains for future generations, at little or no extra cost. Selecting the best ram is high priority but also of  importance is making better use of current and historical measurements of ewes in commercial sheep flocks.

Jessica S Richards, Brian P Kinghorn, Kevin D Atkins

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Breeding objectives, economics of selection schemes, and advances in selection theory (Posters), , 410, 2014
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