Abstract

Visual trait data collected from 2 sites of the Sheep CRC Information Nucleus Flock were evaluated for their suitability as indicator traits for breeding breech strike resistance in Merinos in a non-seasonal rainfall environment. Heritability estimates and genetic and phenotypic correlations were derived for breech, body and neck wrinkle, breech and crutch cover and dag. Yearling breech strike had a moderate heritability of 0.17 ± 0.09. Potential indicator trait heritability estimates ranged from 0.05 ± 0.06 to 0.58 ± 0.09. Genetic correlations between the visual traits and breech strike were moderate to high (0.39 ± 0.30 to 0.81 ± 0.54) with large standard errors.  Yearling breech wrinkle, crutch cover and neck wrinkle were identified as the most important indicator traits for breeding breech strike resistant Merinos in a non-seasonal rainfall environment.

Tracie L Bird-Gardiner, Daniel J Brown, Jen L Smith, Sue Mortimer, Gordon Refshauge

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Species Breeding: Sheep and goats (Posters), , 891, 2014
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