Evaluation of Productivity and Goal Setting
In order to fully understand how well (or poorly) a flock is performing, it is critical to analyze basic productivity and set goals for the future. The analysis can be very basic (required for this program) or very intensive (optional for this program). This is NOT a genetic evaluation program which rates individual animals within your flock - this evaluates the performance of the whole flock.
The Paper Forms
The FP data form asks for simple numbers (e.g. number of sheep that died last year). The FP calc&goals form sticks those numbers into set formulae which are simple to calculate. It also provides space for the producer to set goals for the next 12 months.
For those that own Microsoft Excel, a spreadsheet is available for download and can substitute for the paper forms. The spreadsheet comes with example numbers which - if the space is white or beige - can be deleted before you start. When you start, under the File menu, use the feature "save as" to save the spreadsheet with your name and date. This way, you can keep several versions of your analyses over the years.
The Software Program
For those that own "Ewe Byte" version 3, the program will provide the same analysis under the menu option Create Reports>Flock Summaries>Annual Productivity.
Required Data from Selected 12 Month Period
- Flock numbers at the beginning and end of the 12 month period (# ewes, rams, replacements, market lambs etc).
- Deaths of adults and lambs - stillborn, pre-weaning and post-weaning.
- Culls of adults.
- # of ewes exposed to the ram, lambing, lambs born and lambs weaned.
- Ram in - ram out dates.
- For second year + participants.
- Adult mortality rates, adult cull rates, lamb mortality rates.
- Measures of success of breeding. (e.g. lambs born / ewe exposed to the ram, lambs born / ewe lambing)
- Length of breeding exposure in days.
- All participants MUST fill out the goal setting portion of the form.
- First year participants do not have to fill out the analyses section of the form but are encouraged to do so.
How to Interpret the Numbers
Download Explanations of Measures of Flock Productivity which explains how to interpret the numbers. It tells where the numbers come from, some suggested goals, and what it might mean if your flock's performance is not "at goal".
Selecting a 12 Month Period to Analyze
For flocks with only one breeding group that lamb once / year, then select the period starting the day the rams are joined with the ewes.
For flocks with more than one breeding group that lamb once / year (no accelerated lambing), then select a period that does not divide a group from when lambing starts to the end of weaning. We also encourage you to analyze productivity by breeding group (optional).
For flocks on accelerated lambing programs, select a 12 month period that makes the most sense to your management. We also encourage you to analyze productivity by breeding group (optional).