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AI & Breeding season

Inspiration Tuesday!

Working on breeding plans, not only for my own flock, I am also helping a couple of breeders starting out with this wonderful breed or expanding their current flocks.

This is all about choosing the right sheep for breeding. What breeding ewes you choose for your AI programme has an influence on the outcome, they are 50% of the lambs you get. Choose wisely, typically you select your top 10-20% of ewes for AI. In countries where no or few 100% live rams are available one may choose to AI 80-100% in growing flocks focused on wool production. (Obviously you always need high quality rams to cover ewes not pregnant after AI)

Be sure you have an objective way of determining and rank your ewes according to quality parameters. Since Gotlands change with age it’s imperative to evaluate your lambs consistently @110 days so you can compare their wool / body conformation type objectively. The looks at an higher age has more influence by environment and these effects are not inheritable. Only genetic traits can be moved forward to the next generation.

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