Only commercially available since 2010, Sheep50K is a new selection technique that uses 50,000 DNA markers called SNPs – single nucleotide polymorphisms (Snips) identified in the sheep genome. Using these SNPs, Sheep50K predicts breeding values in 22 economically relevant traits.

For St Leger, it means taking a DNA sample and analysing it with this with cutting edge DNA technology to get a more accurate steer on future genetics. Previously it took years of collecting progeny information to get accurate information on future sire rams. Sheep50K gives us early, accurate information allowing better selection decisions in young stock, therefore a shorter generation interval and more genetic gain.

Sheep50K provides molecular breeding values which, combined EBVs created in the SIL database from an animal’s individual and family information, create Genomic Breeding Values in:

  • Weaning Weight
  • Fertility
  • Growth Rate
  • Meat Yeild
  • FE
  • Parasite Resistance
  • Wool

Incoming and existing sires can be sampled once. We feel testing in-coming sires will be most relevant to our selection. All two tooth and four tooth rams were Sheep50K tested before mating in 2012.

Click here to download a list of ram breeders using 50K technology and the animals tested.