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Title: Estimation of Breeding Values for Footrot in New Zealand Merino Sheep
Contributor(s): Walkom, S F  (author)orcid ; Bunter, K L  (author)orcid ; Raadsma, H (author); Brown, D J  (author)orcid ; Gibson, W (author); Swan, A A  (author)orcid ; Boerner, V  (author); Ferguson, M B (author)
Publication Date: 2018
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Footrot affects all aspects of sheep production and has substantial welfare and economic impacts, particularly for the fine-wool industry in New Zealand (NZ), which is largely dominated by Merino sheep and high rainfall environments. Genetic selection provides an opportunity to improve resistance to footrot and in turn reduce the production loss and management costs associated with footrot outbreaks. Footrot was recorded on 2,196 yearling wethers in a Central Progeny Test (CPT) environment with a further 1,081 phenotypes available for industry animals. The heritability of average footrot score was 0.20 ± 0.05 in the CPT. However, ultimately the successful provision of industry breeding values for footrot will rely on a larger pool of phenotypes across environments and genotypes. The inclusion of phenotypes scored in five industry flocks, linked to the CPT via pedigree, led to a small decline in variances and heritability for average footrot score, relative to CPT data. Transitioning phenotypes based on the biological progression of footrot resulted in similar residual variance estimates when industry data was included, indicating breeding values are likely to be more comparable across challenge events. We propose that incorporating industry phenotypes will provide breeders with greater capacity to obtain estimates of the genetic potential of young animals to resist footrot.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: WCGALP 2018: 11th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Auckland, New Zealand, 11th - 16th February, 2018
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, v.11, p. 1-6
Publisher: Massey University
Place of Publication: Palmerston North, New Zealand
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070201 Animal Breeding
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300305 Animal reproduction and breeding
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 830311 Sheep - Wool
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100413 Sheep for wool
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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Appears in Collections:Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU)
Conference Publication

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