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Getting the best out of recording

Getting the Best Out of Recording

The quality of the Estimated Breeding Values produced for your flock are only as good as the data that has contributed to them. Some flocks put themselves at a disadvantage by not providing sufficient high quality data to reveal the quality of their sheep within the analysis.

By following the points outlined below, not only will you increase the accuracy of your EBVs – but you are also more likely to see the figures for genetically superior sheep within your flock increase.

When submitting lambing data

  1. Submit clear, accurate and timely data
  2. Record accurate birth dates
  3. Where possible provide consider providing lambing ease and birth weight records (to the nearest 0.1kg)
  4. Record dead lambs, as well as live ones
  5. Record ET recipient details and fostering information
  6. Check the data prior to it being analysed

When submitting 8 week weights

  1. Try to treat all your lambs the same, recording them in different management groups if they are treated differently
  2. Check you weighscales (using a 25kg weight or bag of feed)
  3. Weigh lambs between 6 and 12 weeks of age – and write down the weigh date
    • Consider providing a second weight for the youngest lambs in the flock, if you have a spread out lambing period
  4. Weigh them all, with the odd exception of any lambs in very poor health

When collecting ultrasound scanning data as lambs approach 18-21 weeks of age and around 40kg+

  1. Get your appointment booked in good time- technician details are provided here
  2. Try to treat all your lambs the same or ask the technician to subdivide lambs into different management groups (a show team, commercial team etc)
  3. Don’t just scan the best / ram lambs – it won’t lead to higher EBVs
  4. Large contemporary groups are advantageous, so scan a representative number
  5. Submit a "scan" weight for any lambs that you don’t scan and any late born lambs
  6. Scanning older lambs is not a problem, but try not to scan them too young or too light

When making mating plans

  1. Test “unknown” sires fairly - get a representative number (20+) of lambs dropped alongside lambs by a well recorded sire and record them all
  2. Generate genetic linkage to other recorded flocks by ram sharing, AI or the exchange of recorded bloodlines
  3. Use at least one sire for more than one year to create linkage within the flock across years