Webinar – Profitable Genetic Selection

American Sheep Industry logo

Date: December 17, 2013
Dr. Reid Redden
Extension Sheep Specialist and NSIP Chairman
North Dakota State University
Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Host: Dr. Jay Parsons, Colorado State University & Optimal Ag

The National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) is a nonprofit organization created to develop genetic predictors for production traits relevant to the US sheep and goat industries. This technology generates estimate breeding values (EBVs) based on performance data that is submitted by participating flocks. This program develops EBVs for: 1) Growth Traits: birth, weaning (60 d), postweaning (120 d), and yearling (365 d) weights; 2) Reproductive Traits: number of lambs born and weaned; 3) Carcass Traits: loin muscle and backfat depth; 4) Wool Traits: fleece weight, fiber diameter, and staple length; 5) Parasite Resistance: weaning fecal egg count. In addition, indexes are created that rank the most important traits for the respective breed. EBVs are calculated by making comparisons of lambs among their flock mates; therefore, lambs that outperform their flock mates get positive values for the particular trait and genetically related traits.

Additionally, sire and dam EBVs increase for production of a lamb that is above or below flock average (progeny test). To better serve the entire industry, NSIP needs more seedstock producers to enroll, use the program to its full capacity, and work with other NSIP breeders to develop genetic connections within the breed. Additionally, it requires that commercial producers request that their seedstock providers provide this data and purchase sheep with EBVs that are consistent with the needs of the flock. In summary, NSIP can help the industry make more informed and reliable breeding decisions and lead to more productive and profitable sheep and goat industries.

This webinar is made possible with funding support from the American Sheep Industry Association and the Rebuild the Sheep Inventory Committee.

PowerPoint Slides

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