Planning for genetic gains

21 August 2018

Which buck has the best parasite resistance for your environment? Which one is more likely to produce offspring with a fat and eye muscle depth that your market wants? You can’t tell just by looking at them and that’s why it’s so important to consider breeding values when buying in stock. Genetic improvement allows you to reap the benefits over the generations.

For this reason programs like MERINOSELECT and LAMBPLAN were developed to help the sheep industry leverage genetic gains for improved productivity. KIDPLAN is the equivalent for goats, providing practical information on the genetic potential of animals in the form of estimated breeding values (EBVs) and specialised indexes.

The KIDPLAN program is being refreshed to ensure it remains relevant. MLA is funding a series of technical updates, along with group and one-on-one assistance for producers to ensure maximum benefit from the program. This work follows on from an MLA-sponsored PhD project B.STU.0295: Genetic improvement of Australian meat goats which focused on using animal breeding and genetics and minimising kid losses between birth and weaning.

Surveys undertaken during the project found strong agreement between seedstock breeders, commercial producers and rangeland harvesters on priorities being increasing growth and weaning rates and improving parasite resistance. Read more on the findings.

Information: If you have questions about this work and want to understand how KIDPLAN could help you email Dr Daniel Brown.

View a short video about the importance of genetics to your goat business.

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