Sheep Ireland have launched a new “Inbreeding Checker” for all LambPlus members. The Inbreeding Checker will allow breeders to compare up to 5 potential rams at a time, against all the females in the flock and then display the predicted level of inbreeding for each potential union of ram and ewe. Each union is displayed as low (0% – 3%), medium (3% – 6%) or high levels (greater than 6%) of inbreeding. This should prove to be a very useful tool for breeders before selecting any potential sires for mating this year, especially for larger flocks with large multiples of bloodlines running through the flock.
Prior to this breeders would have had to check the ancestry of each animal individually to ensure there were no common ancestry, this removes the possibility of human error and time it would have taken breeders to do this manually. With good internet access breeders could complete this checker on the day of a sale using a smartphone and download the results.
It is recommended that any union that results in high levels of inbreeding is avoided to reduce the risk of reduced performance in the flock. The inbreeding check is limited to the depth of ancestry available for each animal, therefore if an animal is missing some ancestry on the database then the Inbreeding Checker will be less accurate.
Once the report is complete the breeders can easily download and print off the report, so that it can be used at mating time, when matching groups of ewes to mate with particular rams.
See below an example flock where two rams were compared to the flock of ewes, the majority of the potential ram and ewe unions is okay but there are three ewes that we would recommend are not mated to either of these two rams.
The Inbreeding Checker can be found under the Reports tab at the top of your LambPlus homepage.