Adoption of genetic technologies for sheep

Page last updated: Thursday, 21 September 2017 - 2:09pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

The adoption of genetic technologies activity is part of the Sheep Industry Business Innovation project and is currently providing a range of tools that will help sheep producers introduce genetic technologies into their businesses.  A series of videos have been produced to help explain the core genetic concept of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs).  So far, videos on buying rams using ASBVs, getting into ASBVs and an ASBV concept refresher have been completed.


Getting into ASBVs

For a stud wanting to get started with ASBVs, there is a simple process that can be followed to reach the end goal of getting values for your rams.  It starts with a yearly subscription to Sheep Genetics and then animals can be entered into the Sheep Genetics database.  A decision then can be made on the most appropriate traits to be measured for your enterprise that is meaningful to your breeding objective.  Measurement can then be recorded and entered into the Sheep Genetics database and ASBVs will be calculated for your animals.  These ASBVs can be used to make future breeding decisions and used by your clients to improve their flocks.


ASBV refresher

Australian Sheep Breeding Values are used in genetic selection to predict the genes that a ram will pass onto his progeny.  ASBVs are far more accurate to use in breeding programs in comparison to objective measurements because they account for environmental factors, look at measurements from relatives and also include the ram’s own objective measurements.  Producers are able to make much more accurate and quicker genetic progress when using ASBVs.


Buying rams using ASBVs

A little homework can go a long way to make ram buying smoother when using ASBVs, which involves the producer reviewing the sale catalogue prior to auction day to narrow down the selection of rams that will genetically improve their flock.  After this homework is done, producers can be confident heading to sale day and visually assessing rams that are appropriate for their flock to progress in the right direction.