Abstract

Rams of the Finnsheep (FN) , Combo-6 (C6) , Booroola Merino (BM), St. Croix (SC) and Barbados (BA) breeds were mated to 758 Suffolk and Targhee ewes over a 4-year period at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center in southern Illinois, USA. Ewes mated to hair-breed rams (SC and BA) had greater (Pc.10) fertility than ewes mated to C6, BM or FN rams; suggesting greater adaptability of the hair breeds to the hot, humid environment of the location. Lamb weaning weights were heaviest (Pc.05) for FN-sired lambs followed by C6-, SC-, BM- and BA-sired lambs. Even though the weight of lamb weaned per ewe exposed was not significandy different among the breeds of ram, large differences in mean values did exist with ewes mated to SC rams having the greatest value (18.4 kg) and ewes mated to BM rams having the lowest (13.5 kg). In this environment, the "costs" of producing F) replacement ewes were considerably higher with BM and FN rams compared to hair- breed (SC and BA) rams.
 

D. L Thomas, R. M Bunge, T. G Nash

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., , 119–122, 1990
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