EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

A forum for discussion of these genetic measurement tools.

Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby lambchop » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:19 pm

John,
When we in the US talk about LP, we are referring to genetic performance testing. We only have LP and NSIP (handled by LP) available, not the choice you have in AU. I personally feel that LP helps make much faster and more accurate genetic improvement. We won't look at a ram to collect in AU that does not have EBV's. A good looking ram is still a guess on what he will contribute without numbers. I agree though that it must be voluntary, and putting EBV's on registration papers is problematic, EBV's can and will change over time as progeny are recorded.
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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby Darroll Grant » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:06 pm

I got a sale report from an Aussie friend with his on farm sale results for his spring auction on the 28th. Total clearance of 123 rams. Minimum price was just under $800. Top price of $3800 and average of 1100. NO registration papers and NO EBVs.. The rams were the top 10 % of the drop. All were cleanskin, had never had a foot trim and did it all on grass.
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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby lambchop » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:42 pm

Darroll,
And your point is........?
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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby Janet McNally » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:27 am

Darroll Grant wrote:I got a sale report from an Aussie friend with his on farm sale results for his spring auction on the 28th. Total clearance of 123 rams. Minimum price was just under $800. Top price of $3800 and average of 1100. NO registration papers and NO EBVs.. The rams were the top 10 % of the drop. All were cleanskin, had never had a foot trim and did it all on grass.


if no EBV's the rams were the top 10% based upon what?

Janet
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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby Darroll Grant » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:54 am

Based on apparent growth and desired phenotype.
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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby lambchop » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:37 pm

Darroll Grant wrote:Based on apparent growth and desired phenotype.


We have known Denis since 1998 and he was one of the first involved with White Dorpers as well as several other of the exotic SA breeds. He has a fine reputation and a good eye. I am sure most of these rams will go on merino ewes for first cross lambs or to eventually breed the wool off the merino to go to a prime lamb production. In spite of the good results, how do you know that they wouldn't have done better with EBV's.
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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby McMurry » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:49 pm

Can anyone tell me what the history of EBV's are in the make up of South African hair breeds?
Are they a breed requirement now?
When did they start using them, general breeder acceptance etc?
I am new to these breeds so I need coaching.
Many thanks.
Andy McMurry

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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby Darroll Grant » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:11 pm

EBVs were not collected on Dorpers in SA. We felt very fortunate to get 3 generation pedigrees with the initial embryos we imported. The SA breeders relied on their typing system with only 30-40 rigorously trained individuals allowed to type or judge Dorper shows. A few years back it was dictated that EBVs were mandatory for sheep consigned to certain sales. If I remember correctly, the Society couldn't make the requirement work due to breeder resistance. Some progressive breeders joined Lambplan.

By using the elites list and official typing the Aussies potentially have many Dorper rams available to use by AI. Collection facilities and AI technicians are readily available. It wouldn't be difficult to find an Aussie technician that personally AIs more ewes than are done annually in the USA.
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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby Darroll Grant » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:43 am

Denis is currently running 2000 ewes with occasional outside help. Collection of the necessary data for EBVs would require additional help. The unanswered question is, would a greater selling price for 250 rams and data on females more than compensate for the added expense of collecting data on 2000+ head?
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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby Kathy Lewis » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:53 am

Besides the S.African typing system for visual traits Dorpers were also developed using carcass competitions and for the last 15 consecutive years have won the S. African National Carcass competition.

As Darroll mentioned accurate pedigrees can be hard to come by under their more extensive management systems and require a fair amount of (skilled) labor to ID lambs at birth. Without accurate parentage information Lambplan or any other performance testing system is useless. Since the Dorpers/White Dorpers that came into the US from S. Africa were ET at least immediate parents should have been known. The quest for accurate pedigree information is not only a management issue in SA but also in Australia and other countries with large, grazed flocks including the US. There is some hope of cutting the labor involved with some new EID technology from AU and also genetic testing but both are expensive. This could be a topic for a whole other discussion.

In S. Africa predator problems are another obstacle to performance records with a significant percentage of lambs being killed before weaning. This may not be true in all the areas but where we visited in the Karoo predator losses were a problem with the main perp. being the black backed jackall. These look very much like coyotes. A breeder we visited mitigated the losses by lambing throughout the year to provide a constant source of afterbirths. The fencing we saw was excellent but only partially effective against predators. We never saw a LGD but they may be used in some areas. Most sheep farmers do have dogs but mainly we only saw Cape Bulldogs around the homes and the ever-present Jack Russell.

Even with these ongoing problems there has been a big push for more performance records in the S. African Dorper Assn. in the past few years. Just received a copy of the World Federation of Dorper Breeders newsletter. To quote incoming SA president Dries Wiese, "we have made them as beautiful as we possibly can; we now need to focus on their functionality again". Currently Dorpers performance tested the second highest number of all animals of all small stock breeds in S. Africa.
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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby McMurry » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:14 pm

Besides the S.African typing system for visual traits Dorpers were also developed using carcass competitions and for the last 15 consecutive years have won the S. African National Carcass competition.

Not questioning this I am just puzzled by why US packers tend to prefer wool lambs many of which come from breeding programs that do not use objective measurement of carcass traits. Am I just wrong in this or can others share experiences here in the US? Is it simply a pelt value issue? How if at all does the SA carcass trait judging differ from US standards? Is it true that hair breeds tend to be overly fat for US packer preferences? Perhaps in SA they are selecting for different consumer demands? Are the US packers just somehow in the dark?
Andy McMurry

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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby Kathy Lewis » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:24 pm

McMurry wrote:
Besides the S.African typing system for visual traits Dorpers were also developed using carcass competitions and for the last 15 consecutive years have won the S. African National Carcass competition.

Not questioning this I am just puzzled by why US packers tend to prefer wool lambs many of which come from breeding programs that do not use objective measurement of carcass traits. Am I just wrong in this or can others share experiences here in the US? Is it simply a pelt value issue? How if at all does the SA carcass trait judging differ from US standards? Is it true that hair breeds tend to be overly fat for US packer preferences? Perhaps in SA they are selecting for different consumer demands? Are the US packers just somehow in the dark?


Hi Andy, Good questions.

I don't think the US packers are in the dark at all but right now there are barely enough lambs produced in the US to keep the lines moving. Hence the push by ASI to promote expansion of flocks. The relative weakness of the $US has also had an impact in imports. The pelt value is an factor but if you listen to the pelt buyers like Nugget, what they really want is the wool cross pelts off the extremely huge 150 lb plus "lambs" that have spent way too much time in a feedlot or on grass. This preference is due to the value of the extra pelt area to avoid having to piece pelts for manufacturing the finish products. IMO these big overfat lambs don't do anybody in the sheep industry any good longterm. From a personal standpoint we had above average prices on our lambs and haven't had a pelt deduction either from the packer or middlemen for at least three years.

You are right that currently packers aren't paying for carcass traits. Eventually this may change with new technology being tested to see which lambs can return more to the packer. Again adequate supply is a factor and carcass value doesn't seem to be as much of an issue with the ethnic trade. Aside from carcass traits, other production traits measured (prolificacy, growth, etc.) directly benefit the breeder or feeder but not necessarily the packer.

As far as excess fat, Dorpers were never developed for conventional feedlot feeding and this can result in excess fat (or death). I'm not sure about other hair breeds but all tend to carry more P/K fat along with Finns and possibly some other breeds. We've marketed 1,000s of lambs off forage and have had the vast majority go as YG2......never any 4's which can certainly occur with wool and wool crosses. That being said, we market at a lighter weight ...usually 90 lbs, since that is where we can make the most money with fewer inputs and time. This is a choice to be made by each individual producer depending on their management and resources. A surprising thing we learned about fat is that the packers actually like it.....up to a point. A good even covering helps reduce shrinkage, and hold quality in the cooler. Dorpers are bred to carry more fat and have thicker skins in order to survive and thrive when lambed in a variety of climates.

The carcass evaluation in S. Africa (and AU) it seems to be the same standardized measurements as in the US.....yield and quality grades, LEA, fat thickness, meat to bone ratio, etc. As far as consumers, S. Africans are big lamb eaters and there are many more small abattoirs that sell direct to households.

Andy, I think as breeders of finewools and hair sheep, we are at either end of the spectrum of the vast volume of lambs coming into US packing plants. Who knows, maybe if the lamb supply increases drastically we'll both be in trouble.
Kathy Lewis
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Re: EBV's used in the make up of what breeds?

Postby McMurry » Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:13 pm

Kath Lewis wrote;
I think as breeders of finewools and hair sheep, we are at either end of the spectrum of the vast volume of lambs coming into US packing plants. Who knows, maybe if the lamb supply increases drastically we'll both be in trouble.

Kathy,
I really got a kick out of reading this - I like your style of rhetoric 8) You almost caught me trying to "hide" behind that US 150 lb packer type lamb :P
Well it sounds like we have a lot in common with regard to how we prefer to raise our sheep - on forage that they harvest 8) although I am pretty well situated to capitalize on cheap grain products (if or when that happens) in order to grow numbers despite high land values.
My primary ewe type is about 50% SAMM and Dohne influence with the Dohne influence growing each year via LAI. In addition to these - I raise several types of wool sheep that are primarily meat breeds and very consistent with the type of sheep a lot of folks on this forum raise. These are primarily used here as a control group to compare performance to my fine wool /dual purpose sheep to, under identical conditions / management. I have a small number of wool type Merinos that are mostly in the 18 - 19 micron range but a few are down to 14 micron. http://www.etsy.com/transaction/61206061 - $3/oz. They all run together year around. I have yet to try Dorper (crossed only to the non fine wool types) but I might at some point in the future - I hear that they are great browsers which would give them an apparent advantage here. However first, I really need to find a South African consultant that has experience with these three major breeds there; SAMM, Dohne and Dorper. Do you have any leads for me :?:
It is interesting how your breed as well as some Merinos have been developed - quite successfully each with their unique performance features, without a terribly long history with EBV's. Clearly top breeders of the world through the ages, have had something right despite not having EBV's. I can see how the sheer numbers of sheep in some of these breeding programs (of wool and hair types) in SA, AU & elsewhere would make EBV's rather cumbersome.
It is a pleasure visiting with you.
Cheers!
Andy McMurry

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