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Ram teams are superior for ASBVs accuracy

Thursday 6th of February 2014
Image: Rob Egerton-Warburton
Image: Rob Egerton-Warburton

Buying teams of rams that share similar Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) has helped achieve breeding objectives faster and deliver a more productive flock for WA producer, Rob Egerton-Warburton.

Mr Egerton-Warburton places an order for 20 rams some 12 months in advance, using MERINOSELECT ASBVs as part of his tailor-made index in order to secure animals that meet his breeding objective of more manageable sheep.

Applying this strategy, he has been able to breed more robust animals and has for five years-plus consistently achieved weaning rates of around 100 per cent, spent less time drenching and incurred low levels of fly strike.

“We’ve been able to quickly and efficiently build our genetics using teams of rams, which has gone a long way to achieving our overall objective of more manageable sheep,” Mr Egerton-Warburton said.

Dr Stephen Lee, School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide, and a member of the Sheep CRC’s team of geneticists, said that selecting a team of rams based on their collective average for specific traits meant the average outcome in progeny would become highly predictable for those traits.

“The end result for producers is that by focusing on the average breeding values for the team of rams the outcome in terms of performance of the progeny will also be highly predictable,” Dr Lee said.

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