Two genetic indices are available on a large proportion of pedigree rams. These indices allow farmers to rank animals based on their genetic potential across a range of terminal and replacement traits.Terminal index: this ranks animals based on their ability to produce live, fast-growing terminal progeny with little lambing difficulty. This takes into account the progeny’s growth rate, carcase characteristics, days to slaughter and also lamb survival and lambing difficulty.Replacement index: ranks animals on the expected maternal performance such as milk yield, lamb survival and the ease of lambing. However, it also includes some terminal traits to account for the efficiency at which animal’s progeny are finished.
Before selecting a breeding ram, each farmer should focus on a couple of key aspects of the €uro-Star indices of each ram: