MateSel is a program that makes a simultaneous choice of rams and ewes to select for breeding and makes joining recommendations for each ewe. The output is a mating list.
In most flocks, the animals with the highest genetic merit are closely related. A key task for breeding programs is to balance the relative emphasis on genetic gain and maintenance of diversity to reduce co-ancestry. Through the use of MateSel, you are able to maximise genetic gain whilst limiting the mating of those closely related animals.
MateSel is able to do this whilst taking into account a range of objectives, or desires, including:-
direction, magnitude and pattern of genetic change for different traits
- for example you are able to apply pressure to increase the average of a trait, or set a maximum or minimum value for a trait
- you are able to apply different weightings for different traits.
avoidance of progeny inbreeding
- you are able to set a maximum allowable progeny inbreeding for the mating
managing longer-term genetic diversity
- you are able to limit co-ancestry of selected mating candidates. This will ensure that genetic diversity is maintained within your flock, enabling you to control inbreeding in the long term.
use of reproductive boosting (eg. superovulation)
- MateSel allows you to choose the best candidates for an ET or JIVET program, and still maintain diversity within your flock.
- a range of logistical constraints on what is practical to implement
- Set maximum or minimum usage of a ram
- Balance ram usage to joining paddock size and availability
- Allocate mating’s across the whole flock, whilst allowing different mating groups (eg. Ewe lambs or Ewes not to be AI’d)
The Sheep Genetics licencing agreement allows members to use this program for free. However, to access the program, users (either breeders or service providers) must complete the training program.
Contact David Rubie at Sheep Genetics for more information 02 8055 1812.