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What is a selection index?

Selection indexes are utilised by livestock breeders of many species around the world and are considered an essential part of any modern livestock breeding program.

Selection indexes aid in the selection of animals for use within a breeding program where there are several traits of economic or functional importance by providing an overall “score” of an animal’s genetic value.

Selection indexes are derived for a specific breeding purpose and are calculated based on weightings placed on individual traits that are deemed to be important for that purpose.

The selection indexes assist in making “balanced” selection decisions, taking into account the relevant attributes of each animal to identify animals with genetics that are most aligned with the breeding objective for the given selection scenario.