A complex deterministic approach was used to evaluate the annual genetic gain for Austrian land sheep. A total population size of 24,600 ewes, including 7,000 herd book ewes was assumed. Model calculations focused on different weights of traits in the meat index and improvement of the performance testing regime. Traits considered were daily gain, EUROP carcass classification score (EUR), muscle depth and fat depth (FAT). A positive genetic gain (=reduction) for FAT may only be achieved when it is given a weight higher than € 0.5 per additive genetic standard deviation. As no direct information on EUR is available, the inclusion of EUR in the breeding goal results in markedly decreased reliabilities of the meat index and is thus questionable. An improvement of performance testing by increasing the test capacity is suggested because of the possible higher selection intensity.

Lina Grill, Alfons Willam, Roswitha Baumung, Birgit Fuerst-Waltl

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Breeding objectives, economics of selection schemes, and advances in selection theory (Posters), , 395, 2014
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