Data Quality Hints - Management Groups

A fundamental principle of genetic evaluation is to compare animals that have had the same nutrition and treatment prior to measuring the trait of interest.  For this reason it is important to accurately identify groups of animals that have been run together with the same management inputs, i.e.  Animals that have been in the same management group or subgroup.

Correct management grouping of animals cannot be over stressed because, if not done correctly, variation in performance due to nutrition or management will be confused with genetic differences. Anything you think has influenced the performance of animals needs to be accounted for using a separate group.

To guarantee that management group information is as accurate and useful as possible you should ensure that:

  1. Management groups are clearly identified for animals that have been run together prior to the measurement being recorded.
  2. Management groups are genetically linked within years and between years.  This is done by using a common sire (or sires) across groups and years.
  3. The number of effective progeny records within each management group is maximised.
  4. Animals that have had different treatment after a base trait has been recorded are clearly identified in a management subgroup for the following trait measurement (e.g. show sheep).
  5. Animals that have been managed in the same group have their performance measurements recorded on the same date.