Last week we talked about the potential of using a Lamb Quality Score (LQS) to help predict a lambs days to slaughter. This week we look at how well the Days to Slaughter (DTS) breeding value predicted lambs age at slaughter.
We have over 2000 carcass records included in this data set from 4 of our Central Progeny Flocks (CPT) collected in 2016; these commercial lambs have full parentage information and have been performance recorded from birth to slaughter.
The correlation between the Sheep Ireland Days to Slaughter index (ie, the growth index) and how many days it actually took the lambs to reach the desired slaughter spec ranged from a correlation of 0.40 to 0.54 between the different breeds, which is extremely encouraging based on the fact this is only based on 2000 animal records.
So what does this mean for farmers?
For each negative day value on the DTS breeding index that an animal is, this equates to lambs finishing 6 days earlier on the ground (based on our 2016 CPT data)
For example, If both these rams below were used on a typical commercial farm, The ram with the -5 Days to Slaughter breeding value would produce lambs that finish on average 30 days (-5 X 6) earlier than lambs from the ram that has a DTS breeding value of 0 days.
And the more carcass data we can collect the more accurate the evaluations become and the more commercial farmers will buy into the technology that is €uroStar evaluations.