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Balmoral Sire Evaluation: Walkover weighing and commercial pedigree options
Although big differences in performance of individual sheep within a mob are known, without full pedigree and individual performance analysis it is difficult to differentiate between environmental and genetic influences. This project compared three methods of dam pedigree identification of lambs (Tag at birth, DNA parentage test and ‘Pedigree Matchmaker’ analysis) in a large commercial merino flock using electronic tags. The pedigree identification methods were analysed for the ability to produce a result, sire and dam accuracy, labour input and annual costs. The DNA method was the most expensive at $20.00 per lamb weaned but also the most accurate for dam identification at 97.88%. The tag at birth method cost $12.50 per lamb at 85% dam accuracy and Pedigree Matchmaker cost $4.65 per lamb at 85.1% dam identification accuracy. The project also assessed the effectiveness of an in paddock ‘walk over weighing’ (WOW) monitoring system. This trial demonstrated that remote monitoring of individual sheep body weights using electronic tags in a commercial situation is possible. WOW provided real time information on individual and mob weights as well as performance analysis and the ability to access this information at will via an app on a smartphone. The trial also encountered some deficiencies in existing technology and progressively developed solutions to these problems.
This page was last updated on 02/06/2016
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