A flock’s performance significantly affects profitability through either reduced costs, or increased output. Lambs which grow quicker will cost less to finish or weigh more as stores; ewes which successfully rear more lambs will increase income. Whilst good flock management is important, individual performance is also driven by genetics.
Geneticists have developed tools to help measure and identify superior genetics and therefore help producers select the best genetics for their flock. Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) offer a prediction of how an individual’s offspring will perform compared to others. This information helps flock managers to make informed decisions about the breeding stock they purchase for characteristics that are not easy to see on sale day.
QMS is one of the funders in a nationwide RamCompare project, an innovative breeding programme to help farmers improve the genetic performance of their flocks. For more information about this project, click here.
QMS has developed a range of practical resources to help farmers with their breeding decisions. These resources include our guide Using EBV’s as a Guide to breed Better Sheep and a series of short videos found on our video library: