Often producers interested in adding genetics for parasite resistance to their flock are faced with deciphering the fecal egg count (FEC) EBVs listed on a stall card or catalog at an auction (online or in person). Is that enough information to identify a parasite resistant animal? In my experience, no.
We’ve been members of NSIP since 2006 and I must confess that I’ve never really understood what all went into the calculation of “Number of Lambs Weaned”, let alone Genomically-enhanced Estimated Breeding Values (GEBV) for NLW. Seems most of my ewes had NLW GEBV that were about the same as
In 2022, the Southwest Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center hosted its 10th ram test and sale. Over the years, the program has developed a strong reputation for the development and identification of superior rams for growth and parasite resistance in a forage-based environment. Historically, the test has included rams
For our third producer forum we asked our four shepherds, all enrolled in NSIP, how they select their breeding rams and how they make breeding decisions on their farms. Their answers, shared below, reflect the differences among the farms in environment, markets, individual flock goals and management styles. As a
There are various options for diagnosing pregnancy in sheep. The cost/benefit analysis for doing this procedure depends on what you are going to do with the information. Your reasons for doing pregnancy diagnosis will also dictate which method you want to employ. In general, the earlier in pregnancy the diagnosis
As breeders of purebred livestock, attention to genetic progress should be at the forefront of our selection programs. The equation below summarizes the components that contribute to genetic progress. indicates change in genetics ( stands for change, G stands for genetics). Genetic progress can be improved by increasing those components
Katahdins are raised in diverse environments using a wide range of management styles and for a variety of reasons. However, there should be a few common goals in any flock. In addition to being a shedding hair breed, Katahdins have always been viewed as an easy keeping maternal breed. In
Achieving genetic progress and meeting your production goals depend in large part on selecting the right breeding ram for your flock. No animal has greater influence on genetic progress (or lack thereof) than your breeding ram. Selecting a new sire should be considered an investment in the genetic future of