Castlemilk Moorit Breeding Programme. April 2009 Update. Progress to date.
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April 2009 Update
Number of significant rams vs ‘the rest’
Number of significant rams as % of total ram flock
% of line genetics in the ram flock
(this represents the % per sheep should the line genetics be spread evenly across all rams)
The trend from last year of Line 3 ram numbers falling off, probably due to the data clean-up, has not be reversed with the percentage of L3 rams in the flock falling slightly. However even though absolute numbers of L3 significant rams has not increased the % representation of the genetics has increased as we have a greater number of rams with strong L3 but not qualifying as significant.
The number of L1 rams has dropped as older rams are lost however there are encouraging numbers of L1 significant birth notified lambs in 2008 (albeit only 16 ram lambs as the majority are ewes) meaning those L1 rams we have retained are being used for breeding. 22 L2 significant rams lambs and 12 L3 significant rams were also registered as born in 2008.
Number of significant ewes vs ‘the rest’
Number of significant ewes as % of total ewe flock
% of line genetics in the total ewe flock
(this represents the % per sheep should the line genetics be spread evenly across all ewes)
The total number of ewes of breeding age in the flock is now 1305, an increase of 44 in the last year. The most marked change over the year ahs been the increase in L1 significant ewes where the focus on using L1 rams and also matching L1 rams and ewes has given us 43 L1 significant ewe lambs born in 2008, while we only saw 28 significant L2 ewe lambs and the very low figure of 11 L3 significant ewe lambs registered.
The overall L1 % in the ewe flock continues to increase, and although there has been a small degrease for L2 and L3 it is not as marked as the numbers drop.
Number of significant sheep vs ‘the rest’
Number of significant sheep as % of total flock
% of line genetics across the total flock
(this represents the % per sheep should the line genetics be spread evenly across the whole flock)
We continue to make gains in improving the representation of L1 genetics , and in-spite of the drop in numbers of significant sheep in L2 and L3 we are still showing an overall improvement over our 2006 starting point in these lines as well.
As one of our aims is to level out the genetic contribution across the flock (ie have a lot of sheep with a smaller amount of a particular heritage rather than a small number with a lot!) we may need to start analysing the number of ‘significant’ sheep in categories such as major contributors (eg more than 2% for L3, medium contributors (more than 1% for L3) and minor contributors (other with some of that heritage). This would ensure we are managing to spread the genetics even though we may have decreasing numbers under our original definition of significant.