Sheep meat industry in France is currently changing and leaving intensive agricultural areas for less favourable lands. Rejecting the classical choice of hardy low-performing animals in harsh environment, opposite to high-productive animals in favourable conditions, Bouix et al. (2002) proposed to study some genetic strategies allowing good economical results in difficult areas such as permanent exposure outdoors in mountains areas. The different breeds used in the proposed crossbreeding schemes show a large variability in the fleece type from hairy in the Romanov breed to the fine medium crossbred fleece of the "Berrichon du Cher" breed leading to a high variable birthcoat type in crossbreds lambs. Some previous works had shown association of the birthcoat type and lamb survival (Purser and Karam, 1967). The aim of the present study was to quantify lamb survival in relation to the birthcoat type and its protective aptitude concerning heat loss in crossbred lambs issued from different genetic strategies and raised under permanent exposure outdoors from birth. 

M. Jacquin, Daniel Allain, J Bouix, D. Foulquie, P. Autran, B O Bibé

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 18, , 18.13, 2002
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