Since dairy sheep and goats are bred in a wide range of local production conditions, the list of candidate functional traits may be long enough: components of milk feed efficiency (body weight, feed intake and body reserves), reproduction traits (out-of-season lambing ability, female fertility), lamb/kid meat production (suckling ability, prolificacy), machine milking ability (udder morphology, milking speed), resistance to disease (mastitis, scrapie, internal parasites...), adaptation to local breeding conditions (fitness, wool, longevity). In a first part, genetic variation of functional traits and relationships with milk production is revised. In a second part, examples are given of the exploitation of this genetic variation in situations as different as the definition of the breeding strategy of local breeds, or the introduction of functional traits in the breeding objectives of breeds efficiently selected on milk production.

Francis Barillet, J. M Astruc, G. Lagriffoul

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 02.01, 2006
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