Yearling With Lamb
We entered our first sheep on LambPlan in 1999. Through the use of A.I. our sheep are compared with White Dorpers on LambPlan in Australia and our EBVs are reported as ASBVs.
The basic traits measured for submission to LambPlan are birth weight (BWT) , weaning weight (WWT), postweaning weight (PWT), postweaning fat depth (PFAT) postweaning eye muscle depth (PEMD), and yearling weight (YWT). Lambs are raised in contemporary groups and maintained under the same management conditions to avoid differences due to environment.
We have our lambs scanned for eye muscle depth (PEMD) and fat (PFAT) at the most likely weight and age for the breed. For our flock this is at post weaning weight.
Why do we go to all this trouble to obtain EBVs on our sheep?
Well, above all, it makes sure we are going the right direction as far as production traits for profitability. It helps us make mating decisions and aids with culling and replacement decisions. For our sale sheep, it helps assure our buyers they’re getting good EBVs on traits important to them.
Over the last ten years we’ve entered 2,887 animals on LambPlan and have increased our average Post Weaning Weight EBV from 5.2 to 8.3. Our average Post Weaning Eye Muscle Depth increased from 1.0 to 1.7 and our MCP (Maternal Carcass Production) Index from an average of 124.2 to 134.8.
Early experience has shown that growth rate and muscle tends to be antagonistic in sheep. Selection for growth rate alone could lead to decreased muscle and carcass value. We have worked hard to bring these two important traits up in value together, along with number of lambs weaned (NLW).
Recently LambPlan has added the eating quality (EQ) traits of intramuscular fat (marbling) and shear force (tenderness). Also included in the EQ Index is dressing percentage and lean meat yield.
We are willing to provide LambPlan performance records on our sheep for those interested. This data can be accessed from the LambPlan Search engine. Contact us if you would like ASBVs and pedigree information on our rams and we would be glad to show you how to access this information
The best place to get an overall explanation of LambPlan and ASBV’s can be found at www.lambplan.com.au.