Sheep5K is a genomic selection tool. Genomics uses many DNA markers (in this case 5,000) to derive breeding values. Breeding values from a genomic tool are called molecular breeding values (mBVs). Taking the molecular breeding values (mbv’s) and blending them with the ebv’s and pedigree info available, we get a powerful over view of how a young ram hogget or 2 tooth will breed for up to 22 traits.

Performance recording is key to improving traits in a flock, however estimated breeding values (eBVs) from SIL can be unreliable for selecting young animals such as ram hogget’s, and also two-tooths. A ram hogget can have very little performance recording information of its own and it has no direct progeny. Therefore its traditional SIL estimated breeding values can change significantly over time, especially as the performance of direct progeny are also recorded, contributing to its evaluation.

Genomic tools such as Sheep5K add significant accuracy to breeding values of young rams, comparable to having direct progeny already on the ground, as shown below:

These comparisons are a great way for commercial clients to see the benefits of genomics by identifying rams that will drive faster gains.

Pahiwi was very quick to adopt genomics to aid us in selection. Sires are 50 k tested and the top 20% of ram lambs are tested anually.

The molecular breeding values from DNA testing are blended with our SIL estimated breeding values in the SIL evaluations. This adds another layer of accuracy to the selection data = faster gains.

The most accurate data comes from traits that have been measured as well as genomically tested. For example we have begun Worm FEC testing, this data coupled with our DNA testing gives very robust information for selection.