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Weekly Update: 08/05/2015

Initial LambPlus Results for 2015

As the deadline for entering lambs before the April 30th deadline in order to be in with a chance of receiving €uroStars for lambs in 2015 passed last week we have started to look over the 2015 lambing records. The graph below shows the initial results for the spread in lambing difficulty across all breeds with 11.7% lambing difficulty being recorded; once the animals with no lambing difficulty have been excluded.

Lambing Difficulty

Lambing ScoreExplanation
1 – UnassistedEwe lambed down without any shepherd intervention
2 – Voluntary AssistanceLamb was presenting correctly and would have without doubt lambed down successfully without increasing the chance of lamb mortality
3 – Slight AssistanceEwe required slight assistance at lambing as there was an increased probability of a dead lamb(s) if no assistance was given. Example: head back, leg(s) back, breech.
4 – Significant AssistEwe required significant assistant at lambing as there was a very high probability of a dead lamb(s). Example: C-Section, head back, leg (s) back, breech



Removing “Unusable” data from the €uroStars

Before each genetic evaluation (generating stars) is ran, all the performance data must fulfil certain criteria, and if those criteria are not met then the data is “edited” out of the evaluation as it is deemed not to be useful or is incorrect data and can only add bias to the evaluations.

Edits are used in every genetic evaluation around the world, and are vitally important at removing unusable or incorrect data.

What is “Unusable” data?

The entire basis of genetic evaluations hinge around being able to compare animals from several bloodlines in a fair manner regardless on the animal’s environment (gender, feed, health, climate, farm management…). In other words, in a given year, if the lambs from a farm are recorded identical for a trait: same weights or same lambing scores; those records won’t be of any use in genetic comparisons and are discarded. Therefore, in order to compare animals for particular traits (e.g., Lambing Difficulty), a variation of scores must be recorded. If a flock records no lambing difficulty (i.e., All either Unassisted and/or Voluntary assist) then the genetic evaluation can’t compare these animals lambing difficulty performance as they all performed the exact same. The same applies for Lamb Mortality and all the other performance traits.

Un-Biologically Possible

In some cases where some data may have been entered incorrectly (e.g., putting in a wrong date) resulting in a lambs average daily gain being so high it is deemed to be un-biologically possible ; this record is then removed from the evaluation. Other examples are twins born from the same parents but at slightly different dates, number of lambs reared too high, along with many more.




Flocks waiting for Ovigen visits

Sheep Ireland is continuing to organise flocks for their Ovigen flock visits, however a flock cannot be visited until the flock inventory has been tidied up (i.e., removing animals that are no longer in the flock) and the lambing data has been fully recorded. If your flock is fully recorded, you have a tidy flock inventory and you are ready to have your Ovigen flock visit then give us a call on 1850 601 901.