Genetic and phenotypic parameters for fleece characteristics were estimated in Swedish Peltsheep. The study was conducted using records from the Swedish Sheep Recording Scheme (SR). Data from the years 1983, 1985 and 1987 were used in the study and included about 26000 records each year. Fleece characteristics studied were: colour of fleece, size of curl, scores for ^colour, curl, quality of hair and hair density.
Sex of lamb affected size of curl while litter size and age of lamb at evaluation influenced almost all fleece traits. The effects were consistent over years. The heritabilities varied between 0.11 and 0.27. No genetic relationships were found between live weight at 120 days and fleece characteristics.
This study clearly indicates the need to adjust for some systematic environmental effects on fleece characteristics in the practical breeding evaluation. The estimates of heritabilities used today in SR appear to be relevant. This suggests that the reliability of the pelt inspection from a genetic point of view has not changed much the last twenty years, although the pelt characteristics have changed during this period.

K. Ahlen

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XV. Beef cattle, sheep and pig genetics and breeding, fibre, fur and meat quality., , 212–215, 1990
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