Pelt and skin traits were recorded on live lambs and their pelts before and after tanning to double-face lamb skins. Data were analysed in three data sets, with 1474, 1989 and 550 records respectively. Pooled heritability estimates of subjective scores were: for wool density 0.20; fineness of outer coat fibres 0.31; wool lustre 0.28; pelt thickness 0.16; double leather (a skin fault) on salted pelts 0.27 and double leather on tanned skins 0.58. Estimates from the threshold model were 0.30, 0.46, 0.29, 0.12, 0.44 and 0.63 for the same traits, respectively. Heritability (pooled) of skin size was 0.27, skin weight 0.51 and skin weight per unit area 0.64, all adjusted for carcass weight. Genetic correlations were high and positive between traits scored on salted pelts and related traits scored or measured on tanned skins. Double leather was moderately associated with light and thin skins. It was concluded that pelt and skin quality can be improved by selection, without unfavourable effects on carcass weight.

E. Eythorsdottir

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., , 79–82, 1998
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