BODY CONDITION SCORING – Why Is It So Important?

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To best express their genetic potential, sheep must be in optimal body condition. Both overly fat sheep and sheep that are too thin are not as productive as they can potentially be. Body condition scoring (BCS) enables you to identify the animals that fall outside of a preferred range. You can use this information to evaluate feeding strategies and to identify animals that are not doing well in your management system. This article…

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NSIP – What Is in It for Me?

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For most of us, raising sheep is a business. All successful businesses continually and objectively evaluate their products for performance, accuracy, and predictability. Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) as provided by the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP), allow shepherds to convert performance records for economically important traits into information about an animal's genetic merit while increasing accuracy and predictability for those traits. EBVs provide a science-based selection tool to improve or enhance preferred traits…

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Planning for the Next Generation

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The SID Sheep Production Handbook states that a key limiting factor in genetic improvement is "accuracy of selection". In other words, to make the most improvement in our flocks, we have to accurately assess the impacts our sires (and dams) are having on their offspring. We need to identify superior sires as lambs and then confirm their superiority by evaluating their offspring. If they're not passing it on, it doesn't matter how good…

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