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A prime lamb breeding plan

18 July 2019

Having a clear picture of a breeding objective should be every prime lamb producer’s priority before investing in new genetics.

According to MLA Sheep Genetics Senior Development Officer Peta Bradley, a breeding objective will help producers identify traits, expressed as Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs), to improve profitability and/or reduce costs of production.

“Before you turn up to a ram sale, it’s really important to know your breeding objective and which traits will drive profit (e.g. weaning weight and eye muscle depth) and which traits are costs in your production system (e.g. worm egg count),” she said.

“Other important ASBVs that prime lamb producers may wish to select on or monitor when purchasing a sire, may include birth weight and eating quality traits such as intramuscular fat and shear force.

“These traits give producers the ability to make more informed decisions when investing in improving genetics.”

Peta said while genetic merit should be the first criteria on which rams are selected, physical appearance and structural soundness are also important elements for breeding success.

“Rams need to be structurally sound and suit your environment,” she said.