ASBV’s are used in Australia to benchmark the genetic traits of sheep to improve one’s flock. These values cover all major traits that are of interest to all sheep farmers such as fleece, size, weights and muscle.
ASBV’s include performance data from a particular sheep.s pedigree and also that of its relatives. This provides an index that is usable and is not susceptible to either the sheep.s environment or management. The more sheep from a line that are indexed the higher that traits index is considered “accurate”. Each trait index has an accuracy threshold below which the trait will not be published. Obviously the higher the percentage of accuracy a particular trait caries the truer this index is for this trait. Traits without listed accuracies can only be flock comparison values or Flock Breeding Values (FBV’s)
An ASBV of 0 is the average of the 1990 drop.
|Trait Label||Unit||Trait Description|
|WWT||KG||Weaning Weight. Weight at weaning 100 days.|
|PWT||KG||Post Weaning Weight. Weight at 225 days.|
|PFAT||MM||Post Weaning Fat. Looking for a leaner carcus (- figure) with good weight|
|PEMD||MM||Post Weaning Eye Muscle Depth. Independant of weigth, higher lean meat yield.|
|WEC||%||Worm Egg Count. Looking for – figures. i.e “-10″ 10% fewer eggs/gram|
|INDEX||This is a calculated index for a particular market. Higher figure indicates more suited to this market.|
Of course the advantage of utilising ASBV’s for your flock management is that you can source particular Rams that include high ASBV’s for the traits that you either desire or are lacking in. For example if we are looking at increasing the overall weight of our flock we could source a Ram with a PWT of 8 (8kg), this would produce a drop of sheep with on average an increase of post weaning weight of 4kgs.
At Camira Downs we try to source Dorper sheep that firstly have a good WEC as sheep on the coast have a higher incidence of parasite incidents.
We also source Dorpers with high indexes in PEMD, WWT and PFT as we believe that by slowly increasing these values and with careful and selective breeding we can improve the Dorper to become a very efficient meat sheep for the coast. By increasing these indexes we can produce more meat per sheep in an ever decreasing time frame ultimately providing a bigger return in a shorter period.