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A Ram Buyer's Guide



The DP+ index is for self-replacing Merino flocks with a greater focus on lamb production, with a portion of the ewe flock mated to terminal sires to generate crossbred lambs for meat production.

This means that there is increased emphasis on growth, carcase performance, and reproduction to capitalise on the high value of lambs and to ensure that flock size is sustainable while joining to terminal sires. Wool production is still important, but the balance is on increasing fleece weight while trying to limit change in fibre diameter and staple strength.

Typical trait changes with the DP+ index:

  • increasing clean fleece weight

  • small increase in fibre diameter*

  • increasing staple length

  • increasing yearling weight

  • increasing adult weight

  • maintaining maternal weaning weight

  • increasing eye muscle depth

  • increasing number of lambs weaned

  • increasing staple strength

Figure 3 (below) illustrates which traits are in each index and how much they contribute to the overall balance of the index in the top 10% of current progeny. The longer the bar the greater the impact on the index, and the greater impact on the profitability of the production system outlined above.


* The breeding objective for the DP indexes aims to maximise the increase in fleece weight while maintaining fibre diameter at a constant level. In some circumstances, use of the DP indexes leads to small increases in fibre diameter as in the graphs shown above. If this issue is important in your flock, ASBVs for fibre diameter should be considered in conjunction with these indexes.

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