Document Detail

Selective breeding for rearing ability as an aid to improving lamb survival.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6667215     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Lamb mortality to weaning age was compared in Merino flocks selectively bred from maternal ancestors with high or low lifetime rearing ability. The High Efficiency (HE) flock comprised the descendants of ewes that had reared lambs on 3 or all occasions from 4 rearing opportunities. The Low Efficiency (LE) flock comprised descendants of ewes that had failed to rear any progeny on 2, 3 or all occasions from 4 rearing opportunities. During the first 3 years of testing the response to selection the mean mortality to weaning among HE single lambs was 19.5% of lambs born compared with 32.3% in the LE flock (p less than 0.001). Mean mortality of twin lambs in the HE flock was 21.5% compared to 36.3% in the LE flock (p less than 0.01). In the HE flock significantly fewer single lambs died during and within 3h of birth and significantly fewer twins died during birth and shortly thereafter, and between 3h and 2 days of age. The viability of LE singles and twins may have been lower overall as the mortality rate in most periods was higher than that of their HE counterparts. The results highlighted the major impact of intrinsic maternal and, or foetal defects on lamb survival. It was concluded that rearing ability was heritable, and that selection for rearing ability offers excellent prospects for alleviating the hitherto intractable problem of high perinatal lamb mortality.
K G Haughey
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Australian veterinary journal     Volume:  60     ISSN:  0005-0423     ISO Abbreviation:  Aust. Vet. J.     Publication Date:  1983 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1984-02-28     Completed Date:  1984-02-28     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370616     Medline TA:  Aust Vet J     Country:  AUSTRALIA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  361-3     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Sheep / genetics*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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