Virtual Sheep Week
Day 2 Breeding and Genetics
On Tuesday the focus was on increasing productivity and efficiency through breeding and genetics. If you missed anything on the day the webinar, publications and videos are all available below
The panel discussion was led by Michael Gottstein, Sheep Specialist, Teagasc with panellists:
- Fiona McGovern, Teagasc Athenry
- Áine O’Brien, Teagasc Moorepark
- Eamon Wall, Sheep Ireland
Fiona McGovern addreseds the role of genetics in breeding a more “environmentally friendly” animal with a reduced carbon ‘hoof’print. She gave an overview of results from phase one of the Irish New Zealand Animal Comparison (INZAC) study which is currently running at Teagasc Athenry.
Aine O’Brien discussed the potential of genetic selection in reducing the labour requirement during lambing. She looked at traits such as lambing difficulty, lamb vigour and ewe mothering ability.
Eamon Wall looked at the importance of commercial on-farm recording, the potential of emerging DNA technologies to assign parentage to lambs and improve the accuracy of data recording.
Tomás O’Leary, Teagasc BETTER farmer gave a first-hand insight into the benefits of performance recording in combination with using superior genetics. He outlined how these have helped him improve his flock productivity thus showing the possibilities available at farm level. Tomás discussed the breeding decisions he is currently making on his farm for the 2020 breeding season including the benefits that can be achieved from mating ewe lambs and the criteria he uses to select lambs for breeding each year.
Breeding and Genetics Videos
The Sheep Ireland EuroStar evaluations can be used to predict which rams is going to be most profitable throughout their lifetime. In this short clip, Kevin McDermott from Sheep Ireland tells us why the EuroStar evaluations are an essential tool when it comes to selecting stock rams.
A well designed sheep handling unit should be safe for the sheep handler, other adults, children, sheep and cattle. Edward Egan, Teagasc drystock advisor talks through top tips to consider when designing a sheep handling unit
Breeding checks on rams should be done 10 weeks before the breeding season begins.This gives time to build body condition, sort out health problems, buy replacement rams, acclimatise replacements or quarantine replacements. Drystock advisor Edward Egan talks through checkng rams are fit for breeding
Edel O'Connor, a PhD student in Teagasc Athenry and is working on the DAFM funded GREENBREED project. The project is looking at measuring methane emissions from sheep. In this video, Edel explains how they are collecting as much data as possible through the use of portable accumulation chambers.
Tomás O’Leary, Teagasc BETTER sheep farmer gives a first-hand insight into the benefits of performance recording in combination with using superior genetics. He outlines how these have helped him improve his flock productivity thus showing the possibilities available at farm level
Tomás O'Leary, Teagasc BETTER sheep farmer discusses the breeding decisions he is currently making on his farm for the 2020 breeding season including the benefits that can be achieved from mating ewe lambs and the criteria he uses to select lambs for breeding each year.
The INZAC project was set up to compare Ireland & New Zealand genetics & validate the Sheep Ireland replacement index.Three trial groups were established, New Zealand, High Irish and Low Irish. Animals were selected based on maternal indexes. Nicola Fetherstone gives an update on the project
- The validation of the Sheep Ireland €uro-star Replacement index
- Irish National Sheep Breeding Indexes
- Reducing the labour requirement at lambing through breeding
- Measuring methane from sheep systems
- Breeding from ewe lambs –an opportunity to increase flock profitability