Getting into ASBVs
For a stud wanting to get started with ASBVs, there is a simple process that can be followed to reach the end goal of getting values for your rams. It starts with a yearly subscription to Sheep Genetics and then animals can be entered into the Sheep Genetics database. A decision then can be made on the most appropriate traits to be measured for your enterprise that is meaningful to your breeding objective. Measurement can then be recorded and entered into the Sheep Genetics database and ASBVs will be calculated for your animals. These ASBVs can be used to make future breeding decisions and used by your clients to improve their flocks.
Australian Sheep Breeding Values are used in genetic selection to predict the genes that a ram will pass onto his progeny. ASBVs are far more accurate to use in breeding programs in comparison to objective measurements because they account for environmental factors, look at measurements from relatives and also include the ram’s own objective measurements. Producers are able to make much more accurate and quicker genetic progress when using ASBVs.
Buying rams using ASBVs
A little homework can go a long way to make ram buying smoother when using ASBVs, which involves the producer reviewing the sale catalogue prior to auction day to narrow down the selection of rams that will genetically improve their flock. After this homework is done, producers can be confident heading to sale day and visually assessing rams that are appropriate for their flock to progress in the right direction.