Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 9: Gain from Genetics
Tool 9.4
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The use of breeding values can greatly improve ram selection. All breeding values published by Sheep Genetics meet a minimum accuracy threshold before they are released to the ram breeder as shown in the Reporting Criteria diagram (below). All breeding values reported by Sheep Genetics are based on data that is collected and reported using sound quality assurance procedures.

Two forms of breeding values are available.

1. Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBV)
ASBVs enable genetic comparison across:

  • Flocks within the Merino and Poll Merino breeds;
  • Flocks within the maternal and dual purpose breeds; and
  • Flock and across breed for the terminal sire group of breeds.

ASBVs for Merinos are presented under the brand MERINOSELECT.

ASBVs for all other breeds are presented under the brand LAMBPLAN.

Use ASBVs as the basis for ram selection, combined with physical checking and visual assessment of those traits that do not yet have an ASBV (soundness, wool character, fleece rot, body wrinkle and breech bareness). Other approaches are included in this module.


2. Flock Breeding Values (FBV)

Across-flock comparison requires a ram breeding flock to have adequate genetic linkage to other flocks undergoing evaluation. Flocks with inadequate across-flock genetic linkages receive FBVs that only enable genetic comparison of sheep within the flock and at times only a comparison within a group, such as an age group of rams.

This means that if you buy rams from a supplier without ASBVs, the FBVs can help you select the most suitable rams from such a flock, but FBVs do not allow you to compare rams between flocks.


Reporting criteria for Sheep Genetics breeding values


It is relatively easy to clarify whether ASBVs or FBVs are being used, because ASBVs are always reported with an accuracy percentage and FBVs are not.