Sheep Breeding 

Since man first domesticated sheep, he has used selective breeding to improve economically important traits, such as growth rate and wool quality. In the present commercial environment the need for selective breeding decisions is as important as ever.

Sheep producers can only maintain their businesses by producing lambs that meet market specifications, in terms of carcase weight, fat class and conformation. Allied to this is this need to monitor production costs to ensure lambs are produced efficiently, and ensure the flock will generate a positive financial return.  Short-term changes are relatively easy to implement. For example, farmers can enhance flock health and lamb survival and ensure the right lambs are selected for slaughter.

However, a lamb's potential to produce a quality carcase is ultimately limited by its breeding potential and this is fixed at the point of conception. Breeders need to make long-term plans to invest in the right breeding stock for their enterprise.

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