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Ram selection - getting it right is important

Otago Regional Manager Robert Pattison

Otago Regional Manager Robert Pattison has come up with ten commandants to assist sheep farmers in selecting the right ram for their flocks.

They are:

  1. Decide what production traits are important for genetic gain in your flock. 
  2. Remember the more traits selected for the less progress made in individual traits.
  3. Know that selecting the right ram breeder is the most important step in the process.
  4. The ram breeder's flock must show genetic gain in the production traits important to your flock.
  5. The ram breeder's flock must be genetically superior to your own flock.
  6. Understand your flock's production will track the genetic improvement of your ram breeder's flock.
  7. Spend time reading the records and select rams from their production records before making your final choice by inspecting each animal.
  8. The ram breeder should have the rams ranked from best to worst for each trait or ranked on breeding value or breeding index.
  9. Make sure the productive traits you are interested in are in the index.
  10. SIL index information is a big advantage in ram selection.

Robert has taken an in depth look at selection criteria including the production traits of economic importance.  This information provides sheep farmers with an easy guide to selecting the ram to meet their own farm requirements.

For the full article download here RamSelection.pdf