MILK RECORDING AND EVALUATION INFORMATION SYSTEM ON SMALL RUMINANTS IN SLOVENIA
Kompan, Drago Pogacnik, Milan
Drobnic, Marjana Juntes, Polona
Habe, Franc Veterinary faculty,
Zootechnical Department University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana
University of Ljubljana, Domzale Slovenia
The breeding programme for small ruminants in Slovenia has been running since 1983 and includes five breeds of sheep and two breeds of goat. The economic value of production traits on different breeds depends on the price and market conditions for products that are placed on the market. Thus, with different breeding goals and under different breeding conditions the value of each trait included in the selection programme is different, too. The most frequent traits included in the selection programme for small ruminants are: fertility, milk yield, growth, the rate of loss, period between two lambings, fattening and carcass traits, the quantity and quality of wool, as well as some others. In milk production there are very important milk traits, which are recorded in flocks. We present one part of the information system for milk recording on small ruminants.
Modern knowledge of genetics leads to very intensive selection in most domestic animal species in this century. The knowledge of population genetics and selection enabled very rapid development of desired traits, supported by the recent biotechnological methods such as insemination and embryo transfer. This knowledge and new methods caused very fast development in animal breeding and production. Here we have to mention also the importance of numerous applied methods in biometrics that increased the accuracy of predicted breeding values for the traits included in the selection programme. As we mentioned earlier, these traits differ from breed to breed, and in each selection programme they have a different economic value. For example: in the programmes where breeding technology is oriented to the seasonal mating and lambing once per year, the period between two lambings has no significance for it is fixed and there is no intention to make it shorter. But in breeds with continuous lambing, the period between two lambings has great significance because it influences the success (number of bred lambs per sheep/year) and the economy of breeding.
The information system for small ruminants in Slovenia is based on a central database of the Slovenian Selection Programme for Small Ruminants. The methods and ideas lean on an information system for pig production - "PiggyBank". However, the objective was to produce a generic data structure, adaptable to a wide variety of technologies. Data structure is in many views similar for all species.
The information system is based on a centrally organized database, located in the national breeding programme headquarters. The district offices are monitoring and supervising data recording. Data are stored in the central database.
Data recording is based on standardized forms and reports. Each of the breeders is responsible for keeping accurate and up to date records, and may be occasionally controlled by the national breeding programme supervisors. Each of the events (lambing or kidding, purchases, breeding, culling, losses, etc.) is recorded and a copy is kept in the regional extension service centres. Milk recording data are keyed into the computer and are stored in the central database. Regular reports are produced, furnished with interpretations and sent back to the breeders. The regularly produced reports include milk trait analysis, analysis of reproduction, testing of rams, and animal inventory.
The data storage and applications are running on a UNIX workstation using the relational database management system ORACLE. The data structure is normalized and includes data on animal inventory, reproduction, testing, and milk recording. Applications for monitoring production and testing are written using SQL and FORTRAN.
The front end of the information system is a World Wide Web application and is built around the NCSA web server (http://hoohoo.ncsa.uiuc.edu). Information is therefore available via the Internet either from permanently connected networks or using a modem and services from local Internet providers. By establishing a small ruminant intranet, remote database access is possible using a highly intuitive graphical user interface. Besides, an intranet offers an opportunity to publish additional information relevant for the members of the national small ruminant breeding programme, and information targeted at the general public.
The data are available on INTRANET address for breeders, extension service, ministry and other users or services (http://agri.bfro.uni-lj.si/drobnica/Welcome.html).
The health control
One part of the information system on production in small ruminants is the health control system. Monitoring in controlled flocks is composed of the following measurements:
· preventive programme - dependant upon and adapted to breeding technology;
· parasitological examination;
· biochemical profile;
· pathological examination of dead animals;
· specific monitoring of different infectious diseases;
· quarantine control for the rams under direct testing in the central test station.
All the data are collected from the different breeding flocks and are compared on the central database. This serves for the preparation of health strategy for the next period and for the preparation of health programmes for eradication of different parasitic infections or organic diseases.
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