April 11, 2013
April 8, 2013
I always hope I’m going to get something done on my vacation (other than being a sheep midwife), but it never seems to happen. We are up to 31 lambs today, out of seventeen ewes; so hovering near the halfway mark. Some items that add to the shenanigans:
March 10, 2013
While I’m on the subject of NSIP numbers… I spotted these two ewes standing next to each other in the feeder, and realized their comparison is a fun exercise in NSIP metrics. Their sizes are at two extremes in my flock. As you can see, there is a big chocolate ewe to the left, and a much smaller red ewe to the right. The big one was born in 2010, the red one in 2011. So, they are now nearly ages three and two in this photo: both fairly representing their mature sizes.
Most people, if they had to choose between these ewes via visual appraisal, would say “oooh, so big!!” about the left one, and “aw, what a shrimp!” about the right one. The difference between them phenotypically is nearly like comparing a Great Dane to a Springer Spaniel. I bet most breeders would pick the chocolate ewe as the show winner, right?
March 3, 2013
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I made a recent discovery about National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) numbers which I felt was worth some thought and graphing. I’d been wondering for a long time about these little “acc” numbers that come back with each score you get. It stands for accuracy, of course, and is expressed as a percentage. I asked around, so what’s considered a good accuracy value? I could never really get a concrete answer. People would just say, well, higher is better, and your accuracies will get higher the longer you’re in the program. Well, that part is easy enough to deduce. What I wanted to know was, what’s the threshold of tolerable accuracy, below which, I might as well just use a roll of the dice to pick my breeding stock? Or just go back to eyeballing them and picking the nice looking ones?
December 14, 2012