How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby JohnScott » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:42 am

John
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lambchop
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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby lambchop » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:04 am

It is a sad fact that the industry is where Joe states, weight is the only criteria. There is much discussion within the Roadmap committees as to value based grids, but whether that will ever come about is the big question. As far as the EBV discussions, it is possible to overcome the negative correlation between PWWT and EMD. It takes some time to find the exceptions and to breed for the result you want, but can be accomplished. Here is a link to one of our 2014 ram lambs that is in the top 10% for both. Didn't go to percentile rankings to see how high he is, but shows that you can overcome the problem.

http://sgsearch.sheepgenetics.org.au/Se ... 7bea36&S=S
Paul Lewis
White Dorpers with Lambplan EBV's
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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby BIGIRON59 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:04 am

Bob has sold rams at the NSIP sale. I would venture he sells them for as much or more at home and his sale is in May, so they are off the feed roster much sooner. Having followed the Meadows ram through Bob's program for years and looking to buy some of that gene pool. He seemed to be consistently inconsistent in what he sired at Kimm's in regard to loin scan and growth. Bob had used him on a wide variety of genetics. Lots of average ones for the outlier that emerged.

I would put a fair amount of value on actual scan data. If you would stack that , you will increase muscle. I would agree with Don. Increase growth rate, you will likely decrease muscle and add frame. I think anything with positive loin and positive growth will improve the lamb crop. I would expect the hamps to improve over time , if enough numbers are ever presented.As I sorted ewes yesterday to rams, I was once aging reminded why I dislike Suffolk ewes. The Slack Suffolk stud is to good to leave here, so was sorted to some hamp ewes as well. Most Suffolk ewes were relegated to hamp or Dorset Rams. The Bf crosses will be produce project lambs, and the wf cross ewes will be recip ewes in a year of so.

Weighing up lambs yesterday. I know that my hamp club lamb style lambs , perform at a much higher level that any of the "average" feeder lambs I bought. The poorest performing in regards to growth would be the wf prolific type lambs, as expected, They also had the highest incidence of rectal prolapse and all were long docked. They are easy to find in my local sale barns, and I will not be buying any of these type again, discounted purchase price or not. The Suffolk type is also a disappointment. They gain fine, but need to get to much to high end weight to have acceptable finish. Both of these types of feeders were bought at a discount. I would feed these if, bought at a discount. I would move these type of lambs to a finishing ration at weaning , If I raised them, or if buy them will be moved to finishing ration as soon as acclimated to feed, perhaps as light as 50 to 60 lbs live weight. However, they have a typical Suffolk disposition, including always standing on fences, feet in feeders, head caught in fence if they can, bellowing when ever they see you, and flighty in handling system. The purchased hamp cross , south down cross, Dorset cross lambs all excelled the other purchased lambs, in my feeding system, as far as I am concerned. These also are available , and will be my choice of purchased feeders. The south down ram , covering a western type ewe, will feed with the best of them , and I see more of this cross offered as feeders every year, in my area.

Performance is important, as long as the growth is not all legs and guts. When I weighed yesterday, I was expecting some heavies, based on Frame size. All of the tall sheep , went back to the feeding pen. Neither heavy or finished on a ration that is composed or more corn than I have used in 5 years. However, about 1/2 half of a gruop of 20 hamp cross lambs that I bought jul 30th at 95 lbs will be heading to town at 140ish this week. The others will go in the next sale gruop. I had a "good weighup" on this purchase. They were hauled in the day before sale, about 150 miles, and dry penned over night.
However , the "club style" sired lambs have gained right with them and are "market ready" at 135 to 145 live weight.

We can argue that all day. But I will continue to buy those "type" of lambs for feeding in my system. They are available in numbers in the spring/ early summer. They convert nicely, and they meet the needs of the "commodity" lamb buyers. Finished lambs out of this side of the industry seem to "top" the market each week at SFR. Last weeks absolute market toppers were slick sheared show lambs from county fair a few weeks ago. They were taken home, put back on feed couple of weeks and brought in. They weighed 135 , were late march lambs and brought 1.5925 a lb. Most all of these type of lamb brought 1.59 and Wolverine packing was very active in this market . I was told by a " major packer buyer", since most pelts are being hauled to the land fill right now, it cheaper to dump slick shears(they weigh less), So they are worth more. Not the usual scenario on pelts. They are also clean, and since we are having a wet summer, many wooled sheep are caring some "nature" with them. Again not the norm here.

I think that bottom line, is a lot of producers do not know what it costs them to feed raise sheep. If they did, they would change the type of sheep they raise in a hurry.

I still think the moderate framed terminal sire ram with positive growth numbers and carcass numbers will do many producers a lot of good. But it still takes a good ewe, and good feed program to capture any of that potential.

In a wet summer, I appreciate the slick bellied Suffolk lambs and the hair cross lambs. They definitely stay cleaner with less bedding.

Everyone will find what they want, sooner are later.
Starving sheepherder on the windblown tundra of Northwest Iowa

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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby woolpuller » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:14 am

Joe: It is a mixed up world.
Here, Ontario, likes a good lamb chop. So what does a person do?
I look at the carcase plus first, next led (MUST be positive), then pwwt, then pwcf.
I know that eye muscle and growth are connected but will take off a little growth to make sure emd is not negative.

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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby Joe Emenheiser » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:01 am

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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby woolpuller » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:54 am

Joe:
I purchased a ram out of USA about 2008. He was measured at the test station as 6.12 lea. There was a lot of other items I liked. This ram is still alive to-day. I could not bring him on our farm, but a commercial person would take care of him so I could have all the testing done so as to collect semen and still have 200 straws. Okay I had my scanner test him at this farm just after doing my own lambs. He was NOT 6.12 but under genovis(Canada's performance testing) he was 1.95 epd with 98% percentile, 51% accuracy. So the scanner has a lot to do with the scanning. However, the lambs that are big when doing your own farm gives a person a good idea what to keep and what to sell for meat.

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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby DonDrewry » Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:24 pm

Last edited by DonDrewry on Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Don Drewry

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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby Joe Emenheiser » Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:27 pm

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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby DonDrewry » Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:45 pm

So I guess you're saying, I'm going to be arguing with the NSIP theoretical guys when by definition I am selecting for sheep that are positively correlated for growth and PEMD rather than inversely correlated. Dave will likely say, "He's been there before."
Don Drewry

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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby Joe Emenheiser » Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:50 pm

Dave is well aware of the potential issue (this is what he and I worked together on while NSIP was transitioning to Australia in 2010), but the fact remains that parameter estimation for a subsample of the whole breed population requires
1) the blessing of the breed association and/or permission from the breeders and, more critically,
2) sufficient numbers and connections in the database for the estimates to be reliable.
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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby BIGIRON59 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:29 pm

"generalities about breeds are just that, they are only generally true, at best. Think about how the implications when such generalities are applied to humans. Terminal sires should be evaluated on their individual merits."

That is true Joe. However , most sires do not sire enough offspring to make an informed decision . And when buying feeders, I can only use past performance as an indicator of future performance. Since I am not in control of genetics, lambing barn management(which I am convinced has a lasting impact on lamb performance), or any thing else , until I take possession of the lambs. Based on past history, any of the fore mentioned types will be discounted. Some buyers will not bid on those types at all. I can see why. My preference would be to lamb enough ewes to feed as many as I want. Hence the Pipe-stone lamb model. Control the whole scheme. My second preference would be to sell rams to feeder lamb producers and buy the offspring. That has not worked to well. Most of my ram buyers now finish their lambs, capturing the full value of their production cycle.

So I am forced to buy on averages , based on what has proven to perform in a manner for my system.

That means using my "eye" to determine if the lots of feeders offered will perform as I desire. Based on the last 5 years of feeding, I continue to "narrow" the window of acceptable genetic material for feeders, or apply appropriate discount for types that will not meet my needs.

In an Ideal world , that may be an assessment with ebv's. That is unlikely to happen in my lifetime, and likely not ever.
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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby Bill Fosher » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:42 am

A few thoughts on the frame type sheep for terminal sires.

Frame is expensive to grow and expensive to feed. If the goal of the sheep industry is profitability, I really have a hard time seeing frame type sheep as being a major part of the future.

The growth potential of frame type sheep -- especially those with relatively poor muscling and width -- may put more pounds across the scale, but at what cost? Simply chasing pounds may work great when either lamb prices are high or feed prices are low (and it can be very profitable when both conditions exist) but what happens the other nine years out of 10? As the cost of feed per pound of gain rises and starts to squeeze margins, feeders reduce the price they pay for feeder lambs, and producers either cut back or go out of business. Then they're scrambling for lambs, price goes up, and we start to price our product out of the market. Lambs start to back up in feedlots, getting fatter and fatter, putting downward pressure on feeder lamb prices, causing producers to cut back or go out of business, creating a shortage of lambs ... and the pattern continues. Thus we perpetuate the whipsaw market of the last five to seven years or so. Now, I am not saying that frame sheep are to blame for the boom and bust cycle we seem to be in, but their overuse as terminal sires certainly plays a role.

Every East Coast market* I've talked to, from my own customers to Tony Catelli, is looking for a 50 to 60 (maybe 65 at the outside) pound carcass with very good muscling and enough fat to prevent desiccation in the cooler and maybe even a bit of marbling, but not so much fat cover that it has to be trimmed. I don't see how the llama/giraffe hybrids you see promoted at the sales can produce that carcass, whether they have NSIP numbers or not. At live weights light enough to produce the hanging weight desired, these sheep are far too lean and have way too much bone and not enough muscle.

Maybe there's a place in the US where they actually want 100 pound lamb carcasses with a couple inches of fat cover and a loin eye the size of a quarter. But I feel pretty confident in saying that it's not in the part of the country where the majority of the product is consumed.

Having said all that, it does seem apparent that feedlots can overfeed any lamb, regardless of genetics. In order to move production and feeding in the direction of what the market wants, somebody somewhere along has got to start paying for quality. Or docking the price paid for overfed, overaged, or oversized lambs. Carrot or stick, or a little of both. If no one is willing to do that, then the industry has to be willing to accept whatever product comes out of the feedlots. If it pays for pounds, it will get pounds. So it should either step up or stop whining.

*Edit: every East coast market for a finished, market-sized lamb. There are lots of markets for much smaller carcasses such as suckling lamb or 35 to 40 pound carcasses preferred by the Mediterranean, North African, Balkan, and Middle Eastern ethnic groups.

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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby cjhiemke » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:13 am

Earlier in the thread Paul mention the Value Based Pricing Committee from the Roadmap. Here is our report: .

Joe: earlier this year Dave made some adjustments to certain breeds within the terminal sire group to account for the more moderate framed (Shrop, Dorset...) sheep being managed differently than the intensively managed breeds. As I understand it, the adjustments had more to do with type of birth rearing, but the adjustments for growth on these lambs likely affected the EMD and FAT traits as well. Let us know when you're ready to join the NSIP Technical Committee. :)
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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby Joe Emenheiser » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:31 am

Judging by my inbox this morning, my comment that I "take EBVs with a grain of salt" warrants some explanation.

EBVs are unequivocally the best tool available for improving measurable performance traits in livestock. I would hope that I've been more than clear on this over the years.

The "grain of salt" is the risk that EBVs will change. The point that I was making was that the sheep that seem to break through genetic antagonisms (e.g. high PWW and high EMD) are the ones that are especially susceptible to sliding backward in one or the other (especially EMD) after they are widely tested. This is increasingly likely when there are multiple "clusters" or types within a single breed/category, all evaluated using the same parameters. Within the Suffolk breed, there is no doubt that the statistical reliability of the EBVs is increasing as flocks become more and more connected, especially across the historic "clusters." But any time there is a change in/blending of phenotypes, it is important to make sure that the underlying genetic parameters are correctly understood. Reaching that understanding won't be without a few "growing pains." But these are easily overcome, especially with more flocks, more records, and more connections on NSIP.
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Re: How would a club-type ram influence commercial flock?

Postby lambchop » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:09 am

Joe,
Numbers of progeny and links is why we use AU. genetics and AI. I doubt the lamb from the link below will change much when we scan in Oct. His sire has 388 progeny in 2 flocks, which I think is pretty solid.

http://sgsearch.sheepgenetics.org.au/Se ... 845a71&S=S
Paul Lewis
White Dorpers with Lambplan EBV's
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