The genetic variation of dairy traits for small dairy ruminants is revised. Examples are given on the exploitation of this genetic variation in large populations using a classical polygenic approach (sheep) or taking profit of major genes (goat). The genetic determinism of secondary traits, including meat and functional traits, is also described. Finally, perspectives for new profitable technologies, as molecular genetic and reproductive technology, are discussed.

Francis Barillet, E. Manfredi, Jean-Michel Elsen

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 24: Sheep and goats (fibre); sheep and goats (meat and milk); poultry; horses; buffaloes., , 129–136, 1998
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