TRADE MATERNAL INDEX TO REDINE BREEDING PROGRAM
LAMBPRO in conjunction with clients and external consultants has released a new customised index focused on producing maternal genetics targeted towards the domestic market. The index was developed hand in hand with clients and consultants to address client breeding objectives.
‘Many of the leading rams on Maternal Dollar index are totally unsuitable for trade lamb production. The top ram in the industry for Maternal Dollar index is a 2006 sire with -2 for fat and -1.8 for muscle. This sort of excessive leanness and lack of carcase makes these genetics totally unsuitable for Trade Lamb Production.
In addition the Maternal Dollar Index doesn’t account for mature ewe weight leading to excessive increases in mature ewe weight. Some of the top rams are hitting +20 Adult Ewe Weight ASBV which in the paddock means more 100kg ewes which aren’t practical from production standpoint, or an animal husbandry standpoint. We can’t expect shearers to drag 100kg ewes all day.
The Trade Maternal Index puts emphasis on weaning weight, downward pressure on mature ewe weight, emphasis in increasing fat to positive, increased muscle and milk. The end result is more in line with our breeding objective and those of or clients.
‘We don’t want to take the pressure off weaning weight. It simply recognises sheep that grow quickly early, to a moderate ewe weight. It also optimises traits required for trade lambs being fat and muscle. The rest is using similar weightings as Maternal Dollar Index.
The feedback from our clients and buyers was extremely positive.