Prime lambs

Prime lambs

What difference can genetics make to prime lamb flocks?

There’s no doubt. When you’re buying a ram, his physical and structural soundness must be factored in. But what you can’t see is just as important. Using breeding values allows you to see ‘under the hood’ of an animal. You can see his weak points and his strengths to help decide if he’s the right fit for your flock.

Can you pick the performer?

Take two rams. Same price. Same weight. Both structurally sound. Which one would you choose? Find out by watching this short video and see what difference genetics can make.

What have other prime lamb producers gained from genetics?

Meet prime lamb producers Philip Gough, Andrew Carruthers, Russell and Ricky Luhrs. They share their journey with breeding values and how they’ve accelerated the performance of their flocks.

Meet Philip Gough

Philip runs a commercial prime lamb enterprise in south-western Victoria.

"I get really excited about breaking new records, and there’s only one way that’s going to happen, and that's by selecting superior genetics." Philip Gough

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Meet Andrew Carruthers

Andrew runs a commercial temperate cattle and prime lamb operation in NSW.

“The performance of our kg/ha has been outstanding. It's a combination of genetics and also understanding our country and the way we manage our livestock." Andrew Carruthers

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Meet Ricky and Russell Luhrs

Russell and Ricky Luhrs run a commercial prime lamb and Merino sheep operation across three properties in western Victoria.

"When Ricky started bringing in new genetics, you could see the results as soon as the new lambs hit the ground. They were bigger and they just grew." Russell Luhrs

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How do I get started with genetics?

Accelerating your flock’s performance with better breeding values starts with setting your breeding objective, understanding estimated breeding values and selection indexes and knowing your way around the Sheep Genetics website.

You can then start to apply your new-found knowledge when you’re ready to shop for your next high performing ram.

Here are some short ‘how-to’ animated videos to help get you started with using breeding values. It’s best to watch them in the order shown. Take your time. Watch and re-watch the videos at your leisure.

MODULE 1: Getting started with breeding values
EPISODE 1: What are Australian Sheep Breeding Values?
EPISODE 1: What are Australian Sheep Breeding Values?
EPISODE 2: How do I set a breeding objective for my sheep flock?
EPISODE 2: How do I set a breeding objective for my sheep flock?
EPISODE 3: What are sheep indexes?
EPISODE 3: What are sheep indexes?

EPISODE 2: How do I set a breeding objective for my sheep flock?

Before you start using breeding values, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve with your flock. Here are some important things to consider when setting your breeding objective.

Resources

EPISODE 3: What are sheep indexes?

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

Resources
MODULE 2: Using breeding values to find rams on Sheep Genetics
EPISODE 1: How do I find rams on the Sheep Genetics website?
EPISODE 1: How do I find rams on the Sheep Genetics website?

EPISODE 1: How do I find rams on the Sheep Genetics website?

Sheep Genetics is where you’ll find breed-specific databases that store and update ASBVs for thousands of animals. Here’s how you find and rank rams based on their ASBVs or sheep indexes.

Resources
MODULE 3: Putting breeding values into practice
EPISODE 1: How do I shop for a high performing ram?
EPISODE 1: How do I shop for a high performing ram?
Using traits – COMING SOON
Stay tuned. More how-to videos are coming soon. These will cover key sheep traits including fertility, carcase/eating quality and growth traits.

More information

Contact

James Taylor, Sheep Genetics, 02 8055 1818, Email James

Resources

  • LAMBPLAN is Australia’s genetic evaluation system for terminal and dual-purpose sheep producers.
  • Bred Well Fed Well workshops help producers analyse and plan a genetics and nutrition regime suited to their environment and markets to boost profitability.
  • Profitable Grazing Systems takes small groups of producers and pairs them with specialist coaches who share their knowledge, skills and experience on topics including genetics and reproduction.
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