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RamSelect

By Lu Hogan, Sheep CRC

March 2016

 

Buying the right rams is one of the most important jobs a sheep producer does. The genetics have to be right to have a profitable flock. RamSelect.com.au is an exciting new web based tool that combines the power of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) with the latest in design and analytics to simplify the process of selecting rams. It can be used for Merino, Terminal, Maternal or Dohne rams. A simple set of drop down menus and slider bars allow you to search for rams that meet your individual needs. It is now a really simple process to find rams that are resistant to worms and flies by increasing your selection emphasis on rams that have low breech wrinkle and worm egg count.

 

You can follow the steps below or watch a video that shows how quick and easy it is to use RamSelect.

Go to the tutorial video.

There are four simple steps to using RamSelect

  1. Set your search criteria
    • Breed or type
    • Number of rams to list
    • Stud(s) or region to search

2. Use the slider bars (primary and secondary) to place emphasis on the traits that are important to the performance of your flock. As you move the slider bar to the right you are increasing emphasis on that trait or trait group. As you move the slider bar to the left you are decreasing emphasis on that trait group.

To select rams that are resistant to worms and flystrike you should place emphasis on Parasite Resistance by moving the primary slider bar to the right. In the secondary slider bar (Merino only) you can increase emphasis on plainer and more worm resistant rams by moving the Breech Wrinkle and Worm Egg Count sliders to the right. As you move the slider bars, the app automatically apportions the emphasis you have placed on trait groups across 100% and this is summarised in the pie chart. If 4 slider bars are set to maximum emphasis, it is equivalent to 25% emphasis on each of the individual trait groups.


 

 


3. Update the ranked list.


4. Save or print your ranked list.


5. Save your slider bar settings for future use.


You now have a ranked sale catalogue ready to take to the ram sale.

 

Some tips for using the site

  • RamSelect.com.au is a website. It can be used on any device but works best on a desktop/ laptop computer or a tablet. The best browsers to use are Google Chrome and Firefox.
  • When you first open the app, the slider bars are set in positions that equate to a standard industry index. The black markers below each slider bar show the original position for the standard industry index. You can return to the standard industry index any time by moving the slider bars or clicking on the reset sliders button below the slider bars.

The breed groups and standard industry indexes used on the app are as follows:

Merino superfine – Fibre Production Plus (FP+) index

Merino fine/medium – Merino Production Plus (MP+) index

Merino medium – Dual Purpose Plus (DP+) index

Terminal – Carcase Plus (C+) index

Maternal – Maternal$ index

Dohne – Dohne index

  • The slider bars for each trait or trait group only move in one direction. For most traits, where more is better, e.g. growth, number of lambs weaned, fleece weight, and eye muscle depth and fat in Merinos, moving the slider bar to the right, increases emphasis on improvement in these traits.

For some traits, industry is looking for drive values downwards, for example fibre diameter, birth weight, worm egg count and fat in terminals and maternals. Moving the slider bar to the right, will increase emphasis on driving these traits downwards.

  • It is not possible to change the directionality for a trait or trait group. If you are not happy with the direction set for a trait, set the slider bar to zero.
  • To view ASBV values for an individual ram, click on the ram’s ID or View Details.

Go to More Information on the RamSelect.com.au site to see detailed instructions and youtube on how to use the site to search for rams that are resistant to worms and flies.