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Research and sheep productivity trial results demonstrate a huge variability in genetic productivity between flocks. For example a range of up to 2 kg clean fleece weight, 5 microns, 55 percentage points in lambing percentage and 20 kg live weight, can lead to big differences in gross margin between flocks.
There is an opportunity for genetic improvement, depending on your current ram source or sires performance. For example, Western Australian (WA) Wether Trial results suggest half the WA flocks could improve clean fleece weight per head by half a kilogram or more. The trial results suggest that this could occur while maintaining fibre diameter, by identifying genetically superior ram sources. A survey of past participants of wether trials indicated that 90% had learnt something about their flock. Of the 45% who considered they had made a significant change, about half had changed their ram source.
Number of Pages
Sheep, Benchmarking, Ewes, Wethers, Genetics, Western Australia
Animals | Genetics
Butler, L. (2006), Ewe and wether trials - tools for benchmarking your sheep genetics. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia, Perth. Bulletin 4676.