Write an essay on Sheep Stratification Breeds and Suitability?
In UK industry, sheep is stratified with individual breeds with specific environmental adaptation. In these environments, the movement of sheep and lambs are connected with higher to lower ground heights (Ciani et al. 2013). There are three productions systems namely as the Hills, Uplands and the Lowlands.
Hardly hill and mountain sheep are stratified as pure breed for this type of production. The suitability of these breed lies in flock and lowland transferring, therefore, the lambs are sent to the lowlands production for flattening of store lambs (Daetwyler et al. 2012). Older ewes mated several times therefore, the climate for upland area being mild they are stratified with long wool breeds.
The specific breeds of the upland area are older draft mountain ewes and long wool breeds. The stratification turns out to be half-bred or mule, whereas the male sheep is usually sold as breeds with flattening in Lowlands while ewe lambs are shifted to the lowlands. The shifting is for stratification with lowland breed (Daetwyler et al. 2012).
The lowlands have two specific breeds as the mules and half-bred. These two breeds are stratified with producing flattened over summer grass. The milder growing lambs are joined with arrived lambs from the Hills and Uplands region. The flattening over root crops is in autumn and winter regions.
Suitability of Breeds in these production stratifications
Stratification is a process that exploits farm environments using crosses and breeds which are required to specifically suit the different production systems and corresponding areas. The breeds are developed as a result of successful stratification. Therefore, the method is a major area for the production of sheep at the sheep industry (Daetwyler et al. 2012). The process of stratification is categorized depending on a three tier breeding structure. The breeding structure and its suitability are significantly influenced by degree of grazing and altitude specifications.
The hill breeds such as Welsh Mountain and Hardy Speckelfaced are preserved in harsh condition in self contained flocks. Therefore, the suitability of this type of breeds is dependent on harsh weather and surrounding conditions (Todd, 2013). These flocks can be efficiently transferred into uplands system. After that, they are crossed with longwool ram breeds such as Border Leicester and Bluefaced Leicester at the second tier of the industry.
The suitableness of the first cross ewe sheep can be evaluated with the specification of the lowland area. The terminal site breeds such as Suffolk, Charollais and Texel are utilized for production of slaughter sheep / lambs (Lloyd, 2012). The crossing of these ewe lambs with rams of the above mentioned breeds belonging to the terminal sire breeding follows a general trend. However, the suitability can be further categorized based on several separate regional variations. Therefore, the breeding process at the sheep industry as well as the stratification is evaluated with respect to the different production systems, the breeds found from each production system as well as the suitability of the produced breeds.
Ciani, E., Ciampolini, R., D’Andrea, M., Castellana, E., Cecchi, F., Incoronato, C., ... and Cianci, D. (2013). Analysis of genetic variability within and among Italian sheep breeds reveals population stratification and suggests the presence of a phylogeographic gradient. Small Ruminant Research, 112(1), 21-27.
Daetwyler, H. D., Kemper, K. E., Van der Werf, J. H. J., & Hayes, B. J. (2012). Components of the accuracy of genomic prediction in a multi-breed sheep population. Journal of animal science, 90(10), 3375-3384.
Todd, D. L. (2013). Implementation of genomic selection in UK beef and sheep breeding.
Lloyd, C. (2012). The UK Sheep Industry: An Introduction to its Pastoral System and Approach to Marketing and Breeding. Economic Spaces of Pastoral Production and Commodity Systems: Markets and Livelihoods, 265.