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Rob Hodgkins. “Genomics – how is WairereUK using this technology?”. Genomic s election – how are we able to use it?. New Zealand currently offer the worlds only commercially available g enomics test for sheep 22 key performance metrics for animals with high % of New Zealand Romney

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rob hodgkins

Rob Hodgkins

“Genomics – how is WairereUK using this technology?”

genomic s election how are we able to use it

Genomic selection – how are we able to use it?

  • New Zealand currently offer the worlds only commercially available genomics test for sheep
  • 22 key performance metrics for animals with high % of New Zealand Romney
  • At least 2/3rds of animals DNA must be derived from New Zealand stock, and animal performance recorded on the NZ SIL System
  • Our animals full fill these requirements, and to my knowledge is one of the onlyflocks in the northern hemisphere able to use this technology

Practical example one – accelerate genetic gain by using young stock

All have gBV’s meaning we have the confidence to mate them with a small number of ewes (only 30-35)

Early identification and verification of genetics, high index ram lambs (born April 2013) can be used with increased confidence.

UK0263523 09477

UK0263523 09537

UK0263523 10123

UK0263523 10195

In addition all will be tested on the low density 5K chip in the next couple of weeks to give increased confidence around the joining.


Practical example two – increased confidence using unproven stock

UK0263523 08147 – Born April 2012

Believed to be the first animal in the northern hemisphere ever given a mBV on the sheep 50K system.

High level of confidence in using across large number of animals

2013 joining

Mated to 90 mixed aged, mixed ability

ewes for one cycle

Then mated to a further 70 ewe lambs

on there first cycle


Practical example three– A “yardstick” to compare our flock against the best in NZ

DNA testing is very expensive so only the very best animals in New Zealand are analysed. Therefore that figure represents the top 2% of those that are tested. “i.e. the best of the best”


Practical example four– access to difficult to measure traits


Fat Lean Yield (FATY)

Shoulder Lean Yield (SHLY)

Loin Lean Yield (LNLY)

Hind Quarter Lean Yield (HQLY)

Lean Yield Weight Adjusted (LEANY)


Facial Eczema (FE) (Not a problem in the UK at present)

Faecal Egg Count 1 (FEC1)

Faecal Egg Count 2 (FEC2)

Adult Faecal Egg Count (AFEC)

Lamb Dag Score (LDAG)

Adult Dag Score (ADAG)


Carcase Weight (CWT)

Live weight at 8 months (LW8)

Live weight at 12 months (LW12)

Ultrasonic Eye Muscle Area (EMAC)

Adult Eye Live Weight (EWT)

Weaning Weight (WWT)

Eye Muscle Area (EMA)

Number of Lambs Born (NLB)


Lamb Fleece Weight (LFW)

Fleece Weight 12 Months (FW12) (Not a priority in the UK at present)

Ewe Fleece Weight (EFW)