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Beyond the Bale : March 2019
ON FARM 51 While there is on-going natural selection for male and female fertility within syndicate paddock joining, since 1982, artificial insemination and embryo transfer has been adopted with reduced natural selection for male fertility and serving capacity. The impact of this reduced natural selection is unclear; however, the repeat records generated over time through MLP will provide an insight into the variability that exists in flock rams regarding the number of lambs they sire per year and its repeatability. (The heritability of ‘ram mating success’ is 0.3 in prime lamb breeds.) Smart tagging ewes and sires may give earlier information about serving capacity as well as fertility if the ewe cycles for a second or third time. AWI has recently received a project proposal on this topic. In the meantime, breeders can continue to visually cull for low scrotal circumference and select sires for higher scrotal circumference as this leads to more fertile rams and daughters. Where a ram breeder measures this trait, ram and semen buyers can use MERINOSELECT ASBVs for scrotal circumference. Another interesting observation from DNA parentage is that a significant proportion of twins are sired by different sires (see table below). MerinoLink Site Manager, Sally Martin, confirmed that 32% of twins were sired by two different sires at the MerinoLink site. This increased to 36% at Balmoral and 63% at Pingelly. These figures are consistent with previous research reported by MerinoLink. While the outcomes of syndicate joinings are not a key focus of MLP, these preliminary results demonstrate the strength of the volume of data being collected during the project as well as the opportunity to leverage this data through additional research. MORE INFORMATION: wool.com/MLP Geoff Lindon firstname.lastname@example.org YEAR JOINED EWES JOINED NUMBER OF SIRES PROGENY TAGGED SETS OF TWINS % TWINS BY TWO SIRES Balmoral 2017 584 11 498 92 36 Pingelly 2018 386 9 368 49 63 MerinoLink 2018 348 8 353 87 32
In the Shops - March 2019