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How to get started with breeding values

20 August 2020

Using breeding values to accelerate the performance of your herd or flock starts with:

  • understanding the basics of estimated breeding values (in the case of cattle) and Australian Sheep Breeding Values (for sheep)
  • setting your breeding objective
  • finding out about selection indexes
  • using breeding values to select for traits
  • knowing your way around the BREEDPLAN or Sheep Genetics websites.

Once you have these basics, you can then start to apply your new-found knowledge when you’re ready to shop for your next high performing bull or ram.

MLA’s genetics hub includes a series of short ‘how-to’ videos to help you use breeding values to find high-performing sires.

New trait videos

Recently MLA added some videos to its how-to series which explain how to use breeding values to select for traits. Listen to MLA’s Genetics Adoption Manager, Clara Bradford, talk through these new trait videos.

 

Watch the new trait videos covering Tropical cattle  Temperate cattle  Prime lambs  Merinos

What are breeding values?

Breeding values allow you to predict the genetics each animal will pass on to their progeny. These short animations clearly explain the ins and outs of breeding values.

Tropical cattle

Temperate cattle

Prime lambs

Merinos

How to set breeding objectives?

Before you start using breeding values, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve with your herd or flock. Watch these videos to find out what to consider when setting breeding objectives.

Tropical cattle

Temperate cattle

Prime lambs

Merinos

What are indexes?

An index takes a range of important production traits and combines them into one number so you can rank sires, quickly and easily. Find out how they work and the different indexes you can pick and choose from.

Tropical cattle

Temperate cattle

Prime lambs

Merinos