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What is Merino Superior Sires?

Merino Superior Sires (MSS) compares the breeding performance of a sire by evaluating his progeny. Progeny performance is expressed relative to the progeny of other elite MSS sires. MSS has been designed to assess a sire's breeding performance for a large number of traits important to breeders. This assists the selection of sires suitable to a large range of breeding objectives.

MSS sites are located across the majority of wool growing regions in Australia. All Sires are mated to an equal allocation of ewes to ensure the difference between the progeny can be attributed to the sire and not the ewes. A minimum of 50 ewes from a classed and even line are mated to each sire with the aim of obtaining 25 or more progeny. 15-20 progeny can be expected to provide a satisfactory estimate of a sire's breeding value.

At least one "Link Sire" is mated for each 7 sires entered at a site. A Link Sire is a sire that has been mated previously at the site, or at another MSS site, and has 25 progeny that have been evaluated at least once.

Link sires act as the genetic connections between years and sites that allow the direct comparison of all the sires entered in MSS, regardless of when or where they are mated.

The results on the AMSEA website are those derived from the regular MERINOSELECT analysis and as such are reported as Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs). These represent a combined site & year sire evaluation analysis, which makes it possible to accurately compare the annual results from a site with those of another site or year. This is because the analysis takes into account the environmental differences between sites and the years that sire evaluations are undertaken.

Site reports provide additional information on traits that are not presented in the combined analysis. Additional traits in site reports include individual conformation and wool quality traits, breech wrinkle scores and for sites that consider them to be commercially important, internal parasite resistance and carcase traits. Site reports are available on the AMSEA website.

It should be noted that the MSS performance of an individual sire in isolation cannot be considered an indication of the performance of the stud which bred the sire.