A breeding objective describes animals you would like to breed that are appropriate for your production system and market.
By setting a breeding objective—as part of your overall business planning and management—you can identify your genetic priorities and plan the genetic selection methods that will allow you to reach this goal.
Your breeding objective should target characteristics (traits) that:
Also note that the more traits that you include, the progress for each will be slower, however the progress against the objective can still be high.
Breeding objectives generally include the characteristics of importance, the level they should achieve and the time frame in which this will be achieved. for example:
Within 5 years, 80% of ewes at first shearing (11 months) will have:
A common fault when setting breeding objectives is to have no timelines or levels to achieve. For example: White, bright, fine wool, with heavy fleece weights on large-framed sheep that are resistant to flystrike.
By adding levels you can more easily monitor your progress towards the objective and know where changes need to occur in your selection to help achieve your goal.
For Merino breeders focused on wool, fibre diameter, fleece weight and body weight have the most influence on profit.
For prime lamb producers, focus on weaning and postweaning weight, fat score and reproduction rate (number of lambs weaned per ewe joined).
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