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The value of EBVs for the US meat goat industry


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Presentation given at 2016 AKGA meeting in Ohio

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The value of EBVs for the US meat goat industry

  1. 1. S U S A N S C H O E N I A N S H E E P & G O A T S P E C I A L I S T U N I V E R S I T Y O F M A R Y L A N D E X T E N S I O N S S C H O E N @ U M D . E D U W W W . S H E E P A N D G O A T . C O M The value of EBVs for the US meat goat industry
  2. 2. Within herd Across herds  On-farm performance evaluation  Adjusted weaning/litter weights  Performance ratios  Comparison of fecal egg counts and/or FAMACHA© scores  University programs  Kentucky Goat Improvement Program  Tennessee State University  Oklahoma State University  Central Performance Test  Western Maryland  Oklahoma  Pennsylvania  EBVs and EPDs  NSIP (US/Australia)  MGGES (US/Brazil)  Genomics (future) Making genetic improvement in meat goat herds
  3. 3. What is an EBV?  EBV is an acronym. It stands for Estimated Breeding Value.  An EBV quantifies the genetic merit of an animal (for breeding).  It is a mathematical, computer- generated prediction of an animal for economically-important traits.  For anyone familiar with EPDs (used in cattle), an EBV is twice the value of an EPD (P=progeny).  EBVs can be calculated for any trait for which data can be collected.
  4. 4. Another acronym. What is NSIP?  NSIP stands for National Sheep Improvement Program.  NSIP is the organization that provides EBVs for the US sheep and goat industry.  NSIP data is processed by Sheep Genetics in Australia; there is both a LAMBPLAN and a KIDPLAN.  Other animal industries and countries have similar programs.  Small ruminant dairy producers should use DHIA, not NSIP.
  5. 5. What traits does NSIP measure? EBVs currently available through KIDPLAN Fertility traits Number of kids born (NKB, %) Number of kids weaned (NKW, %) Scrotal circumference (SC, cm) Live weight traits Birth weight (BWT, kg) Weaning weight (WWT, kg) Maternal weaning weight (MWWT, kg) Post-weaning weight (PWWT, kg) Yearling weight (YWT, kg ) Hogget weight (HWT, kg) Adult weight (AWT, kg) Carcass traits Fat depth (FAT) (post-weaning, yearling, hogget) Eye muscle depth (EMD) (post-weaning, yearling, hogget) Carcass weight (CWT) Worm egg count Weaning (WWEC) Post-weaning (PWEC) Yearling (YWEC) Indexes Boer Goat $ Index Carcass Plus Index
  6. 6. Indexes for Australian goat producers Boer Goat $ Carcass Plus
  7. 7. What might an index for Kikos look like? Trait EBV Contribution Number of kids weaned NKW 50 Maternal milk MWWT 15 Weaning weight WWT 15 Worm egg count PWEC 20 Katahdin (hair sheep) Ewe Breed Index 0.246 x WWT EBV + 2.226 x MWWT EBV + 0.406 x NLW EBV – 0.035 x NLB EBV Add PWWT (post-weaning weight) and EMD (eye muscle depth) or CWT (carcass weight) to create multi-purpose index
  8. 8. Understanding the numbers
  9. 9. Understanding the numbers
  10. 10. 1. Herd EBVs 2. (Across-herd) EBVs  Within-herd EBVs are calculated when a herd is not connected to other NSIP flocks.  EBVs on individual animals can only be compared to animals in the same herd.  Herd has genetic linkages with other NSIP herds.  EBVs from individual animals can be compared to EBVs from individuals in other herds, regardless of geographic location or production system. There are two kinds of EBVs.
  11. 11. T H E S E C H A R A C T E R I S T I C S A R E T H E A N I M A L ’ S P H E N O T Y P E . T H E Y I N C L U D E T R A I T S W H I C H W E C A N M E A S U R E O R O B S E R V E . All animals have a set of characteristics that represent their value to a producer. Number born Birth weight Weaning weight Loin depth Fecal egg count Frame size . . . and many more.
  12. 12. Phenotype is the result of the animal’s genetics (genotype), as well as the environment in which it was/is raised. Phenotype Environment
  13. 13. Most (75-90%) of the differences we see between animals are the result of environment, management, and/or chance. The remaining differences are the result of genetics. This may seem small, but genetics is permanent and compounding . EBVs help identify the portion of differences that are due to genetics. EBVs are more accurate than on- farm and centralized testing.
  14. 14. How are EBVs are calculated?  EBVs are calculated by accounting for known sources of variation for each (phenotypic) trait.  Environment  Genetics  Heritability  Genetic relationships  Genetic correlations
  15. 15. Production environment Fixed effects  Pen  Pasture  Diet  Health  Management  Adjustment factors are used to correct for fixed effects of differences in environment.  Adjustment factors standardize traits (e.g. weaning weights) to a common birth and rearing type.  Type of birth (single)  Type of rearing (single)  Age of dam (3-6 years) Environment is a large source of variation.
  16. 16. The effect of genetics on a trait varies.  The variation in the proportion of genetics on a certain trait is called heritability (h2).  Reproductive Low (5-20%)  Growth Moderate (10-50%)  Carcass Moderate (10-45%)  Fiber Moderate to high (25-55%)  Lactation Moderate (15-35%)  Parasite resistance Moderate to high (25-50%) Number of kids born is only ~10% heritable.
  17. 17. EBVs account for relationships between animals.  Offspring inherit roughly 50% of their genes from their sire and 50% of their genes from their dam.  Half-sibs share about 25% of their genes.  First cousins share approximately 12.5% of their genes.  Even distantly-related animals share some genes.
  18. 18. EBVs account for genetic correlations.  Most performance traits are not controlled by a single gene, but rather have multiple genes that control the genetic portion of trait expression.  Positive correlations mean that increases in one trait will result in increases in another trait.  For example: birth weight (BWT) and weaning weight (WWT) have a genetic correlation of 0.3.  On the other hand, some traits have negative genetic correlations, such as staple length (SL) and fiber diameter (FD).
  19. 19. EBVs are calculated from… 1. Data for trait measured. E.g. weaning weight 2. Data from correlated traits. birth weight, post-weaning weight 3. Date from relatives. sire, dam, siblings, cousins, distant relatives 4. Factoring in heritability. 10-50%  EBVs are comparisons to the herd or NSIP breed average.
  20. 20. Strength of EBVs is highly dependent on three concepts. CONTEMPORARY GROUPS GENETIC CONNECTIONS ACCURACY
  21. 21. What is a contemporary group?  A group of kids that are born within 45 days of each other and have been managed the same way.  Same feed  Same pasture  Same health protocol  Good contemporary groups have at least two sires and enough offspring (usually at least 20) from each sire. A “management” group.
  22. 22. These aren’t contemporary groups.  Different breeds/crosses.  Kids born in different seasons or more than 45 days apart.  Kids whose dams were separated for preferential feeding or grazing.  Creep-fed vs. non creep-fed kids.  Kids raised in different locations.  Fostered kids.  Kids removed for artificial rearing.
  23. 23. Importance of genetic linkages  When animals share some percentage of the same genetics.  Genetic linkages provide a means to compare the performance of animals in different herds.  Genetic linkages are best accomplished by using the same male in two or more participating herds. I’m coming to your farm next.
  24. 24. What are EBV accuracy values?  A measure of confidence in an animal’s EBV.  How representative is the EBV of the animal’s true breeding value?  Accuracy values range from 0 to 100.  The higher the accuracy value is, the more confident we can be in the EBV.  Accuracy values are affected by…  The amount of performance data that is available on the animal and its parents.  The heritability of the trait.  The size of the group in which the animal was compared.
  25. 25. Who should enroll in NSIP?  Purebred producers who want to improve the accuracy of their selection.  Producers whose herds are large enough to use multiple sires and have enough animals to create meaningful contemporary groups.  Producers who can provide pedigree data (single sire matings) on progeny.  Producers who are willing to measure, record, and submit the required data; many producers are already collecting the necessary data.  Producers who have or are willing to create genetic linkages with other breeders. NSIP IS SCIENCE-BASED, INDUSTRY-TESTED.
  26. 26. Participation in NSIP  Sheep  Dorset (9)  Hampshire (12)  Katahdin (~50)  Polypay (~30)  Shropshire (8)  Suffolk (~30)  Targhee (~26)  Other breeds have fewer than 3 flocks enrolled.  There are only four meat goat herds currently enrolled in NSIP. Source: NSIP, Feb. 10, 2016
  27. 27. Can producers with small herds in NSIP?  Anyone can enroll their herd in NSIP.  Small herds should purchase or lease bucks with EBVs.  Small herds need to use two sires for breeding.  Rate of genetic progress will be slower with small herds.  Herd EBVs instead of (across- herd) EBVs can be calculated, if there are no connections to other NSIP herds. 15 does SIRE A 15 does SIRE B 25 kids SIRE A 25 kids SIRE B 30 does of same breed
  28. 28. • E B V s a r e e q u a l l y b e n e f i c i a l t o s h e e p a n d g o a t p r o d u c e r s . • W h i l e N S I P u s e s s h e e p t e r m i n o l o g y ( e w e , r a m , a n d l a m b ) , i t c o u l d c h a n g e i f m o r e g o a t p r o d u c e r s w e r e e n r o l l e d i n N S I P . • S h e e p G e n e t i c s A u s t r a l i a a l s o h a s a K I D P L A N . • D r . K e n A n d r i e s f r o m K e n t u c k y S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y i s N S I P c o o r d i n a t o r f o r g o a t s . I’m a goat producer. Why should I enroll in the National Sheep Improvement Program?
  29. 29. Purebred producer Commercial producer  Enroll your herd in NSIP and use EBVs to improve your accuracy of selection for economically important traits.  Purchase breeding stock, especially bucks, with above average EBVs or indexes (enrolled and non-enrolled herds; small herds).  Establish values for your breeding stock.  Purchase bucks with above-average EBVs or indexes.  Direct from breeder  Performance sales How would I use EBVs in my herd?
  30. 30. Balanced selection Single trait selection  Most common (recommended) practice.  Choose animals that are above-average in all traits. “Breed the best to the best.”  Use indexes to help make selection decisions.  Focus on small number of traits.  Correct problem in herd  Create elite herd for specific trait(s).  Riskier goal  Need to be beware of unintended consequences (problems) that can results with single or narrow trait selection. How would I use EBVs to select better animals?
  31. 31. Match production system and goals to EBVs.  If you sell 40-lb. kids, put selection emphasis on weaning weights, not post-weaning weights.  In pasture-based operations, it is important to select for parasite resistance (low worm egg counts).  Select for number of kids weaned and against number of kids born to favor does that raise their kids.  Prolific herds may want to select for maternal weaning weights to reduce number of orphan kids.
  32. 32. Required Optional  Date of birth  Birth type  Rear type  Sire and dam info  Contemporary (or (management) groups  Birth weight  Weaning weight  Post weaning weight  Worm egg counts (weaning, post-weaning, adult)  Scrotal circumference  Ultrasound scan data  Fiber traits What do I need to measure and record?
  33. 33. How do I enroll my herd in NSIP?  Go to  Print and fill out the enrollment form.  Send with check to NSIP.  Enrollment fees are waived for first year members and for three years for members younger than 22 (as of 1/1/16).  However, there is a $100 data fee deposit (is refunded after data is submitted).  Start collecting and entering data.
  34. 34. Annual enrollment Data fee  Based on size of herd  $100  $2.50 x doe  $25 for additional breed • Capped at $400 - $25 early bird credit  Based on number of kids with post birth measurement.  $2.85 per animal, excluding animals designated as culls or commercials.  Covers lifetime of animal. How much do EBVs cost? Herd with 40 does $100 + (40 x $2.50) = $200
  35. 35. Will EBVs make me money?  The primary purpose of EBVs (and EPDs) is to make genetic improvements in your own herd (i.e. increase profitability).  There is an increasing demand for sheep with EBVs.  SW Virginia Ram Test  Center of the Nation NSIP Sale (Iowa)  Montana Ram Sale  NSIP sale in East [?]  Goats (eventually ?)Buck with an EBV of +10.0 for NKW Daughters will produce 0.10 more kids That’s 10 more kids per 100 kiddings 10 extra kids x $150/kid = $1500 Buck with EBV of +3.0 for WWT Progeny will be 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) heavier at weaning than average 3.3 lbs x $2.50/lb = $7.26/kid 50 kids x $7.26 = $363 100 kids x $7.26 = $726
  36. 36. Tips for making NSIP/EBVs work for you.  Collect the right data at the right time  Plan breeding groups to test genetics.  Maintain good contemporary groups.  Cooperate with other NSIP breeders.  Communicate with commercial producers.  Be honest  Be patient and trust the data.
  37. 37. CAN CAN’T  Select doe replacements for economically-important traits.  Make purchasing decisions.  Make culling decisions.  Select herd sire(s)  Increase the accuracy of selection for superior performance.  Set value of breeding stock.  Increase profitability of enterprise.  Improve productivity of breed.  Tell if an animal is structurally connect.  Tell if an animal has good conformation.  Tell if an animal has good breed character.  Tell if an animal has a genetic defect (e.g. bad bite).  Replace visual appraisal.  Force you to make the right breeding decisions. What EBVs can and can’t do
  38. 38. MAYBE, MAYBE NOT EBVs identify poor performing animals . Animals without EBVs could be genetically superior (or inferior), but there is no way of knowing. Are animals with EBVs better than animals without EBVs? “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
  39. 39. N A T I O N A L S H E E P I M P R O V E M E N T P R O G R A M h t t p : / / n s i p . o r g D A T A G I V E S G O A T P R O D U C E R S A L O O K A T T H E W H O L E P A C K A G E h t t p : / / n s i p . o r g / w p - c o n t e n t / u p l o a d s / 2 0 1 5 / 0 1 / g o a t - a r t i c l e - f l i e r - 4 . p d f H O W T H E G O A T I N D U S T R Y C A N B E N E F I T F R O M N S I P h t t p : / / w w w . s l i d e s h a r e . n e t / s c h o e n i a n / h o w - t h e - g o a t S H E E P G E N E T I C S A U S T R A L I A – K I D P L A N h t t p : / / w w w . s h e e p g e n e t i c s . o r g . a u / B r e e d i n g - s e r v i c e s / K I D P L A N - H o m e Information about EBVs (and NSIP) online.
  40. 40. Thank you for your attention. Questions? Comments SUSAN SCHOENIAN Sheep & Goat Specialist University of Maryland