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Merino ewes with higher breeding values for fatness and muscling have improved maternal efficiency

Ferguson, M.B., Paganoni, B.L., Kennedy, K.L. and Thompson, A.N. (2011) Merino ewes with higher breeding values for fatness and muscling have improved maternal efficiency. Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 19 . pp. 299-302.

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Abstract

Maternal efficiency refers to the ratio of total weight of lamb weaned to the mature weight of the dam. This study utilised information on Merino ewe progeny from six of the Sheep CRC Information Nucleus Flocks born in 2007 and 2008 to test the hypotheses that Estimated Breeding Values for depth of muscle (YEMD) and subcutaneous fat (YFAT) measured at yearling age will be associated with higher maternal efficiency. Maternal efficiency differed significantly between sites (P<0.001) and year of lambing (P<0.001), and only 10 % of all ewes weaned their own liveweight in either 2009 or 2010. Maternal efficiency was positively related to both YFAT and YEMD and the relationships were consistent across all sites and both lambing years. There were no effects of EBV for yearling weight on kg of lamb weaned per kg of ewe joined.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Notes: Paper presented at the AAABG 19th Conference, Perth, Western Australia, 19 - 21 July 2011
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/24745
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