Management Tools


Taking of records of individual animals are not only expensive but also very time consuming. It is for this reason that maximum usable information needs to be recorded and this usable information should then be used effectively.

Effective record keeping starts on the farm. The SHEPERD program was specifically developed for small stock farmers as a tool to help them collect information but also to ADD value to known information.

  • SHEPERD program should be seen as a tool which can be used very effectively in any small stock breeding program. It is of great value in the decision making progress of any selection program.
  • Flexibility to meet the demands of different sections in the small stock industry.
  • Electronic sending and receiving of data.
  • Value added to basic information.
  • Data of other programs can be converted to SHEPERD.
  • Windows compatible.
  • Regular Updates to utilize new technology.

SHEPERD Program is available for purchase at SAGenetics or Dr. Buks Olivier. ( Please see Products for Sale )

For more information please contact Dr. Buks Olivier at the following numbers
Tel: +27 – (0)21 – 809 – 3354
E-mail: buks@infruit.agric.

The following article was written by Dr. Buks Olivier. I would like to thank dr. Olivier for taking the time to explain the benifits of this program to myself and also for sharing his knowledge on this website – Dr Erika de Jager


Routine genetic evaluations and estimation of BLUP breeding values are available for all the major sheep and goat breeds. New EBV’s are calculated on a weekly basis or as needed when new data has been recorded.

Traits recorded for all the breeds included pre-weaning or weaning weight, post weaning weight, fleece weight and fleece traits. Weaning weight is use to calculate Total Weight of lamb Weaned per ewe per year (TWW). Ebv’s are calculated using multiple trait analysis. For reproduction traits a repeatability model is used. Due to lack of linkage between flocks and other constrains EBV’s are not available for all breeds. The breeds and traits for whom EBV’s are available is as follows:

Dorper, Dormer, Ile de France, Landskaap, Boer Goat:

  • Birth weight Direct and Maternal
  • Weaning weight Direct and Maternal
  • Post weaning weight
  • TWW

Dohne Merino, Merino

  • Yearling body weight
  • Clean fleece weight
  • Mean fibre diameter
  • Staple length (Merino only)
  • TWW (Merino only)


For the mutton breeds these EBV’s are combined into a Rand value which reflects Gross Margin Income per Small Stock Unit (SSU) per year. Two additional Rand value rankings are also available namely a Sire Line (with emphasis on growth traits) and a Dam Line (with emphasis on maternal traits and reproduction).

[ Example of Flock Profile]

For the wool breeds a selection index are also available. This index is also expressed as a Rand value depicting gross margin per SSU per year. For the Merino breed an additional Rand value index is available which include TWW also as a trait.

[ Example of Flock Profile]

In addition to this a list of performance of sires used per flock is available. Graphical display of genetic trends against the breed is also available. For each breed an National Sire list, ranked on Rand values are supplied. These sire ratings are available on request.

Flock Profiles, own sire list and national sire ratings are available as hard copies or in electronic format (csv-files).


  • Recalculation of Rand value index for mutton breeds
  • Incorporation of subjective assessed traits for Merino’s
  • Incorporation of weaning weight traits into national evaluations of Merino’s
  • Investigations into calculation of longevity for the different breeds
  • On-going research on methodology use to calculate reproduction traits repeatability vs. multiple trait models).
  • Variance estimations for growth and reproduction traits of SA Mutton Merino’s with aim to include in National breed evaluation.