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Estimation of genetic parameters for reproductive traits in Shall sheep

Hesam Amou Posht-e-Masari, Abdol Ahad Shadparvar, Navid Ghavi Hossein-Zadeh, Mohammad Hossein Hadi Tavatori
Tropical Animal Health and Production 2013, 45 (5): 1259-63
23334381
The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for reproductive traits in Shall sheep. Data included 1,316 records on reproductive performances of 395 Shall ewes from 41 sires and 136 dams which were collected from 2001 to 2007 in Shall breeding station in Qazvin province at the Northwest of Iran. Studied traits were litter size at birth (LSB), litter size at weaning (LSW), litter mean weight per lamb born (LMWLB), litter mean weight per lamb weaned (LMWLW), total litter weight at birth (TLWB), and total litter weight at weaning (TLWW). Test of significance to include fixed effects in the statistical model was performed using the general linear model procedure of SAS. The effects of lambing year and ewe age at lambing were significant (P<0.05). Genetic parameters were estimated using restricted maximum likelihood procedure, under repeatability animal models. Direct heritability estimates were 0.02, 0.01, 0.47, 0.40, 0.15, and 0.03 for LSB, LSW, LMWLB, LMWLW, TLWB, and TLWW, respectively, and corresponding repeatabilities were 0.02, 0.01, 0.73, 0.41, 0.27, and 0.03. Genetic correlation estimates between traits ranged from -0.99 for LSW-LMWLW to 0.99 for LSB-TLWB, LSW-TLWB, and LSW-TLWW. Phenotypic correlations ranged from -0.71 for LSB-LMWLW to 0.98 for LSB-TLWW and environmental correlations ranged from -0.89 for LSB-LMWLW to 0.99 for LSB-TLWW. Results showed that the highest heritability estimates were for LMWLB and LMWLW suggesting that direct selection based on these traits could be effective. Also, strong positive genetic correlations of LMWLB and LMWLW with other traits may improve meat production efficiency in Shall sheep.

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