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|Title:||Season and reproductive status rather than genetics factors influence change in ewe weight and fat over time. 3. Analysis of Merino ewes|
|Citation:||Animal Production Science, 2014; 54(6):821-830|
|S. F. Walkom, F. D. Brien, M. L. Hebart, N. M. Fogarty, S. Hatcher and W. S. Pitchford|
|Abstract:||The profitability of southern Australian sheep production systems depends on the optimisation of stocking rates by meeting the nutritional demands of the breeding ewe while effectively utilising grown pasture. The aim of the study was to evaluate the genetic variation in liveweight and body condition of Merino ewes across their breeding life within a wool-based enterprise. The results were consistent with findings in crossbred ewes and showed that the genetic component of weight and body condition remained constant across the production cycle and age. The overall additive genetic effect accounted for 92% of the genetic variation in weight of Merino ewes bred across five production cycles. A genetic correlation of 0.85 suggested that ewes that were superior at maintaining their condition when rearing a single lamb would maintain this superiority when rearing multiple lambs. To improve weight and condition of Merino ewes during the ‘tough’ times, when nutrient requirements are not met by the pasture, selection can be made at any time and this will result in increased genetic condition at all times.|
|Description:||Published: 22 April 2014|
|Rights:||Journal compilation © CSIRO 2014|
|Appears in Collections:||Animal and Veterinary Sciences publications|
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