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Recording Fate Codes

Improving survival of rams, ewes and lambs on farm ultimately will improve the bottom line and increase productivity of any business. The research and development behind Sheep Genetics is dependent on data coming into the analysis. Currently there is not a lot of data collected on the reasons why rams, ewes, or lambs discontinue having records recorded, nor is this information collected using the same codes and in the same location in software's.

To develop a breeding value for survival and ensure that genetic differences between animals that survive longer is captured, an END OF LIFE data collection point has been included in software's. This not only relates to lambs but all animals on farm. FATE codes are developed to capture the reasons why animals leave the system that are non-genetic such as disease, weather events, ram break down or sale animals. The aim of this data is to identify the animals that struggle to survive or stay on farm due to genetic difference and gives the ability to penalise these animals using a breeding value.

FATE codes are different to status and Birth type/rear type. Status is a field designed for breeders to keep track of current, dead or sold animals in a quick and easy manner. Birth type and rear type are also still required as they are key data sources used throughout the analysis to flag, filter and exclude animals. Many breeders have recorded information on why animals leave the system in the comments or notes sections of their software's and now have a centralised location in a uniform manner.

A preliminary list of End of Life codes has been developed (Table 1). If there, are other reasons that you have been capturing or would like to include please contact Sheep Genetics.

Reason

Code

 

Reason

Code

Fostered

FOS

 

ET recipient

ET

Hand-reared

POD

 

Culled as undesirable

Culled

Born Dead

DAB

 

Died from Unknown causes

DIED

Died between birth and marking

DBM

 

Died during lambing

DAL

Died between marking and Weaning

DMW

 

Management cull

MGT-CULL

Died Misadventure

DIED – MIS

 

Sold

Sold

Born Dead - Premature

DAB- Prem

 

Cast for age

CFA

Died from weather

DIED – Weather

 

Missing for unknown reason

MIA

Culled at Birth (alive not tagged)

CAB

 

Ram breakdown

Ram

Died during lambing

DAB-DYS

 

Downgrade

COM

Barren/Dry ewe Culled

DRY-Culled

 

Died a cast sheep

DIED- CAST