Merrrit breed of Cashmere Goat

Cashmere goat breeding for improved profitability

Trait leaders for the second year fleece

There are three traits for which ACGA Merrrit calculates Estimated Breeding Values

EBV UM ~ this is the fibre diameter of the down

EBV DW ~ this is the clean down weight

EBV MI ~ this is the McGregor index. This index adjusts down weight to remove the correlation with fibre diameter. There is some fancy maths involved, but basically it is down weight adjusted to 13.0 microns. Thus it is a pure measure of 'productivty'. 

Trait leaders (Down weight)

 

 Identity EBV UM EBV DW EBV MI

 Merrrit

Grade

ATJ0Y042 +0.56 +346 +202  A
ATJ0V216 +1.46 +341 +200 B
ATJ0X131 +1.41 +325 +169 B
ATJ0Z174  +0.93 +303 +160 A
ATJ0G025 -0.13 +286 +198 A
ATJ0W045 +0.95 +274 +157 A
ATJ0A0445 +0.74 +266 +151 A
ATJ0X214 +1.45 +258 +128 B
ATJ0F092 -0.13 +247 +173 A
ATJ0E124 -0.29 +246 +173 A 

 

Trait Leaders (Fibre diameter)

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 Identity EBV UM EBV DW EBV MI

 Merrrit

Grade

 ATJ0B044 -2.06 - 85 - 29 C
MTA00B18 -1.99 - 27 -10 C
 ATJ0E092 -1.97 - 51 - 3 C
2002A640 -1.92 - 44 - 3 C
 ATJ0D209 -1.91 - 86 - 23 C
 ATJ0E062 -1.85 - 53 - 16 C
 ATJ0F100 -1.83 - 4 + 28 C
 ATJ0B011 -1.81 - 57 + 10 C
 ATJ0C055 -1.78 - 18 +29 C
ATJ0Z062

-1.76

- 2+35C

 

Trait Leaders (McGregor Index)

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 Identity EBV UM EBV DW EBV MI

 Merrrit

Grade

 ATJ0Y042+ 0.56 +346 +202 A 
 ATJ0V216 +1.46 +341 +201 B
 ATJ0G025 - 0.13 +285 +198 A
ATJ0F092 -0.13 +247 +173 A
ATJ0E124 -0.29 +246 +173 A
ATJ0F054-0.20 +237 +169 A
ATJ0Z174+0.93 +303 +160 A
 ATJ0G086 -0.06 +229 +158 A
ATJ0C028-0.68 +222 +158 A
ATJ0W045+0.95+274+158 A

 

Trends in the data

Cashmere breeders have clearly been choosing finer fibre diameter animals with heavier down weights for breeding. Some very fine animals with very high productivity are starting to appear in the trait leaders list. Examples in the list above are the young does F092 and F054.

Doe F092 produced 764 gramsof cashmere at 15.9 microns as a two year old and doe F054 produced 793 grams of cashmere at 16.58 um.  If those results were in isolation, they would be enough to raise those does to a B grade Merrrit and quite good EBVs. But because both does come from a genetic background of very high production ~  their parents both had very fine EBVs for fibre diamter and very high EBVs for down weight,  they were lifted to grade A Merrrit and the data analysis produced the EBVs above.

How to look at the data

The top ten trait leaders for McGregor Index are in the table above. A full list of all ACGA Merrrit recorded animals is availabe in a spreadsheet format from the ACGA.

To use the buck Y042 as an example. If he were mated to average does, that is does with a breeeding value for each trait of zero, then his progeny would be expected to have the following performance. They would have fibre diameter 0.28 microns coarser than average and their down weight would be 173 grams heavier than average.

 This is because kids inherit half of their genetics from the sire and half from the dam. So for fibre diameter they would have (+0.56 from the sire and +0 from the dam) divided by 2 equalling +0.28.

So the average of the kids from this mating will be +0.28. Of course there will be variation in these kids, with some coarser and some finer than this average. The breeder then selects the best of these kids to become the parents of the next generation.

Want more information?

There are fuller explanations of ACGA Merrrit, the McGregor Index and performance recording available from the ACGA as printed versions in the industry magazine 'Cashmere Australia'. A full list of ACGA Merrrit EBVs are available in an excel spreadsheet by request.

(data updated 3 May 2016)