Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) are an estimate of an animal’s true breeding value based on pedigree and performance recorded information. They are a projection of how that animal’s progeny will perform for a range of traits and are comparable across flocks.
There are many traits analysed by LAMBPLAN and/or MERINOSELECT. Key trait groups analysed include:
Indexes take a range of important production traits and combine them into one number. They are a useful way to rank animals quickly and easily.
The accuracy of an ASBV reflects the amount of information used to estimate the animal’s breeding value, as a percentage of the amount of information needed to calculate its true breeding value with 100% certainty.
An animal with a higher accuracy is more likely to produce progeny as suggested by its ASBVs.
Accuracy increases as more information is recorded on that animal including:
The ID system ensures a unique ID for every animal in any breed of sheep anywhere in the world.
This system identifies the:
For example, for the animal:
|Breed code||Flock number||Year of birth||6-digit tag number|
Genetic linkage occurs when two or more flocks share common genes. For example when a ram has progeny in multiple flocks there is genetic linkage.
Genetic linkage is what allows animals to be compared across flock and is an essential part of producing ASBVs.
Identifies animals managed under the same conditions. Assigning animals to correct management groups keeps all non-genetic (environmental) influences consistent amongst the group so the measured difference in performance can be attributed genetics.
The Quality Assurance Breeders Manual has more information on appropriate management group structuring.
You start getting benefit from ASBVs when you have a complete generation of records. This is when animals first recorded as lambs become parents themselves. The ASBVs increase in accuracy and predictive power considerably.
It will usually take about two to three years to build up the useful bank of information however, previous years information can be added to speed this up.
With LAMBPLAN/MERINOSELECT you can add previous year’s pedigree and performance information at no cost. This option enables a build-up of data, therefore ASBVs are more reliable within a shorter time period.
Yes, the ID and relevant ASBVs go with the animal. The same ID stays with the animals for life so the system is able to pick up the pedigree and past information on that animal. On entering a new flock, the individual animal will keep its own ID however, any subsequent progeny will take on the flock code from the flock in which they are born.