The first Suffolk BLUP run of the season is approaching.

By Suffolk Sheep Society 2nd April, 2013

Suffolk breeders are asked to submit their 8 week weights to the Signet office before Friday the 5th of April.

The first Suffolk BLUP run of the season is approaching. Suffolk breeders are asked to submit their 8 week weights to the Signet office before Friday the 5th of April.

 

The 8 week weight data is analysed using a statistical procedure known as BLUP. BLUP evaluations produce Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) that highlight animals with superior genetic merit for a range of traits.  The 8-Week weight EBV is a measure of an animal's genetic potential for growth from birth to 8 weeks of age.  For example a Suffolk ram with an EBV of +4 for 8-week weight is expected to produce lambs which, on average, are 2 kg heavier at 8 weeks compared to lambs sired by a ram with an EBV of 0.

By following the points outlined below in relation to the collection of 8 week weights, not only will Suffolk breeders increase the accuracy of their EBVs, but they are also more likely to see the figures for genetically superior sheep within their flock increase.

  • Lambs can be weighed between the ages of 42 and 84 days (6-12 weeks) of age to calculate an adjusted 8 week weight. The easiest way to work out the latest day you can weigh is by adding 84 days to the date the first lamb was born.Please also remember to indicate on the weigh sheets the weigh date/s and whether the weights are in lbs or kgs. (blank weighsheets can be emailed to breeders if required)

 

  • It is important that you weigh your entire litter of lambs, not just the lambs you think are good or that you want to retain. This ensures a larger contemporary group (i.e. a group of animals which have been exposed to the same environmental and management conditions since birth) and provides as much information as possible on all animals in the flock, thereby increasing the accuracy of the estimates of genetic merit in individuals and to measure flock performance.

 

  • If you have a small number of lambs whose growth and performance have been compromised due to poor health, a broken leg or the Schmallenberg Virus for example it may be advisable not to record their weights on the Signet database. This prevents the introduction of bias into the evaluation

 

The results of the first BLUP run are due to be published at the end of April. Later lambing Suffolk flocks can submit their 8 week weights at the next BLUP run of the season on Thursday the 13thof June 2013.

 

If you wish to join Signet please:

Contact Signet for an application formand contracteither by email: signet@eblex.ahdb.org.ukor by calling 0247 647 8829

 

Shane Conway – Breeding Specialist                                                                                                                 

Tel:      024 7647 8721
Email: 
shane.conway@eblex.ahdb.org.uk

1 Comments

Rob Dunsford

Fantastic article - really enjoyed reading.

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