You are currently viewing the Sheep CRC archived website for the period 1 July 2007 – 30 June 2014
This website has been replaced and the information provided here is for archival reference only
To view the current Sheep CRC website please visit www.sheepcrc.org.au Hide This Message


The page you are currently viewing is part of the Sheep CRC archived website for the period 1 July 2007 – 30 June 2014. The information provided within this page is no longer actively updated and may now be out of date. For up to date information please visit the current Sheep CRC website at http://www.sheepcrc.org.au/


Breeding more Lambs

The breeding ewe is the engine room of the wool and meat business, so ensuring that she has the best chance of successfully producing lambs each year makes good sense. Her reproductive success is determined by her genes and importantly, by her nutritional status or body condition, at joining, during pregnancy and in lactation. The keys to successful sheep reproduction are selecting and retaining ewes that are proven performers and having ewes in the condition score 3 at joining and lambing.

Selecting ewes that are proven performers:

Genetic effects on reproductive rate from the lamb (direct) or ewe (maternal) are relatively small. However, selecting ewes with high repeatability of good lambing performance, and selecting against ewes which are repeatedly dry or lambed and lost, gives the possibility for improvement within the current ewe generation.

Pregnancy scanning and assessment at marking provides opportunities to identify and retain those high-performing ewes in the breeding flock and to exclude the dry ewes and allocate feed resources to those that are most productive.

Recent work by the CRC has identified the likely gains in reproductive rate from different selection practices and looked at the economic impact of these practices on whole farm profitability. Visit the ‘Selecting ewes that are proven performers’ pages for more information and practical tips.


Managing ewes for a successful lambing:

The number of lambs conceived and the survival and health of the foetus over pregnancy, birth and lactation are all important parts of the challenge to successful lambing. A further challenge is to produce the maximum number of lambs in a profitable way that optimizes pasture and feed resources and achieves adequate growth rates of the lamb for turn-off or breeding.

Nutrition is a key driver of a successful lambing as the ewe’s condition affects;

  • her conception and fecundity (number of lambs produced)
  • lamb survival and growth rate over lactation
  • pasture utilization and efficient use of feed resources
  • wool production of herself and her progeny in a wool enterprise

 

The CRC supports two key programs and the MLA/AWI initiative, Making more from Sheep, for producers to increase their skills and knowledge to manage ewes.

1. Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM)

The Sheep CRC, in partnership with Rural Industries Skills Training (RIST), presents a practical course focusing specifically on the nutrition and health issues associated with the ewe and develops participant skills in sheep condition assessment and feed budgeting, based on key information from the Lifetime Wool project. (See the 'Products & Training Resources' tab below to download the LTEM brochure.


2. Pregnancy Scanning and Ewe Management workshops

These half day workshops focus on the management of pregnant ewes and give a good overview of joining, pregnancy and lactation as well as an introduction to some practical tools and skills.



Making More from Sheep

Is produced and supported by MLA and AWI. It is a best practice package of information, tools and learning opportunities for Australian sheep producers. Information is available via a website, a manual and a range of locally held workshops and forums. ‘Wean More Lambs’ is the module to help you to increase sheep reproductive performance.

Choose from the tabs below to find more detailed information.


Practical Wisdom Notes Products & Training Resources Reports, Articles and Presentations Websites

Practical Wisdom Notes / Fact Sheets

Practical Wisdom Note - Using ASBVs

ASBVs stand for Australian Sheep Breeding Values. They are the national language for benchmarking sheep based on their genetic merit and are produced by Sheep Genetics. ASBVs describe a sheep’s breeding value for a trait, e.g. fleece weight or body weight, and express the relative breeding value of sheep across different breeding flocks of that breed (or across breeds in the case of Terminal breeds). They are equivalent to estimated breeding values (EBVs) used in other livestock industries e.g. BREEDPLAN in the beef cattle industry.


Products & Training Resources

ASBV Case Studies

Several case studies are available on the use and benefits of ASBVs - download the individual case studies below.


Australian Sheep Breeding Values - A guide for ram buyers

This guide is provided to help you understand the complexities of breeding profitable yet functional sheep that are right for your business.


Lifetime Ewe Management Training

The Sheep CRC, in partnership with Rural Industries Skills Training (RIST), presents a practical course focusing specifically on the nutrition and health issues associated with the ewe and develops participant skills in sheep assessment and feed budgeting, based on key information from the lifetimewool project.


Merino Sheep Breeding Trainer Guide

The Merino Sheep Breeding Trainer Guide has been developed by Sheep CRC and Meat & Livestock Australia to allow vocational and education trainers (primarily in the TAFE, Agricultural College and School systems) to deliver up to date knowledge and skills in the area of Merino breeding to their students. It is designed to be used in conjunction with three Power Point presentations, produced by the Sheep CRC on developing a breeding objective, selecting a stud and rams and selecting ewes.


Visual Scores Guide

Visually assessed traits are included in the breeding objective of all stud and commercial sheep breeders, regardless of their target market or environment.


Reports, Articles and Presentations

Getting Started with Sheep Genetics

Sheep Genetics provides you with practical information on the genetic potential of your sheep. Sheep are ranked according to various production characteristics using Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) across flock or Flock Breeding Values (FBVs) within flock. See Sheep Genetics brochures available for download below. To download other publications click here.


Publications - Genetics

Download the genetics publications below.


Sheep CRC 2010 Conference Papers - Genetics

This Conference combined world class science with its practical application.


Sheep CRC 2010 Conference Papers - Sheep and their management

This Conference combined world class science with its practical application.


Sheep CRC Genomics Breakfast Workshop - LambEx 2012

During LambEx 2012 the Sheep CRC hosted a genomics breakfast workshop - download the papers from the workshop below.


SNP Chip - revolutionising genetics

This article appears courtesy of Meat & Livestock Australia (www.mla.com.au)


Wool meets Meat - 2006 Conference Papers - Genetics

These proceedings are from the showcase conference of the Australian Sheep Industry CRC 'Wool meets Meat - tools for a modern sheep enterprise' conference held in Orange (NSW) during 2006.


Web Sites


Website Created by WrightWay Design