Select the right ram for your flock

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Don’t take a stab in the dark when it comes to selecting the right ram for this year’s breeding season.

There is plenty of technology and statistics out there to help you find the ideal ram to suit your needs and goals.

One tool is RamSelect, which allows ram buyers to identify potential ram purchases using available Australian Sheep Breeding Value (ASBV) information that is then matched to the purchaser’s own breeding objective.

RamSelect can search all rams available for sale from single or multiple studs from the Sheep Genetics database.

Users can then specify their breeding objectives by indicating how much emphasis they wish to place on the important commercial traits.

Lambplan and Merinoselect are another tool that allow users to search the system for information on studs based on ASBV.

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The databases provide genetic evaluation of sheep across different breeds (when applicable) within a breed group, and across different flocks within a breed group.

This data is submitted by members.

Lambplan is focused on  genetic information to Terminal, Maternal and dual Purpose ram breeders and commercial lamb and sheep producers while Merinoselect is focused on Merino ram breeders and commercial wool producers.

Progeny testing can give a good insight into the rams traits by testing the progeny of rams for desirable traits.

Wether trials also give a good indication of a rams performance. The trials remove the effects of weather and management, giving a better indication of the genetic performance.

Looking at the performance of the studs commercial flock can also give buyers a good indication of the rams genetic potential but the way the stud manages their flock and the climate should be taken into consideration especially if it differs from where your operation is located.

Talking to other clients of that stud is also a good way to rate the performance of a ram.

Try to find an existing client who runs their flock under similar conditions to your operation to get a better indication of how that ram will perform at your farm.

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