The collection of pedigree, environmental and performance information is a major cost in most livestock improvement programs, particularly under extensive conditions such as frequently encountered in the Merino industry. Ideal quality of data is achieved when full pedigree, date of birth, birth type (BT), rearing type (RT), management and performance information is recorded. When this information is missing inaccurate estimates are made of these effects or an incomplete model fitted. Recently Atkins and Ramsay (2001) suggested an alternate approach that would reduce these demands for Merino breeders. Using research station data, the authors illustrated that by using weaning weight as a covariate, breeding values could be estimated with accuracy close to that achieved from a model including all fixed effects. The aim of this study was to examine the accuracy of estimated breeding values (EBVs) produced from industry recorded data for hogget bodyweight, greasy fleece weight and fibre diameter using different models to adjust for pre-weaning environmental effects.

Daniel J Brown, A. Reverter

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 12, , 12.05, 2002
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