Updated visual sheep scoring booklet released

Sheep-scores

Image AWI.

An updated Producer Version of the Visual Sheep Scores (VSS) booklet is now available. VSS is a pocket guide for commercial and stud breeders, providing a standardised framework for assessing and scoring visual sheep traits.

UPDATES IN THE LATEST VERSION INCLUDE:

  • improvements to the usability of the booklet
  • inclusion of scores for Teeth Eruption (TE) and Horn (HORN)
  • allowance for both undershot and overshot jaw scores
  • inclusion of scores for the new lambing traits Maternal Behaviour (MB) and Lambing Ease (LE)
  • further clarifications to trait definitions and scoring diagrams.

The Visual Sheep Scores (VSS) booklet has been redeveloped after receiving industry feedback which was incorporated into an extensive review process. Sheep classers along with commercial and stud breeders across the industry were involved. Recent experience with Merino Sire Evaluation and the Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) project was also considered in the review. The Research Version is now being updated to include the changes made to the Producer Version.

The review of the Producer Version included clarifications to trait descriptions and diagrams to bring them up to date with industry requirements, along with the consideration of a number of new traits. Some new traits were included in this version and others will require further development as additional research is completed.

The result is a set of current and applicable scores of fresh descriptions and diagrams all presented in a user-friendly booklet, with sections now separated with a tab for easy look-up. New scores are outlined for the now- included visual traits: Teeth Eruption (TE), Horn (HORN) and lambing scores for Maternal Behaviour (MB) and Lambing Ease (LE). Classing grades have also been further defined into Overall Selection Grade (SGRADE) and Classer’s Visual Grade (GRADE).

-Australian Wool Innovation

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