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Title: Preliminary evaluation of the impact of visual traits on lifetime ewe performance
Contributor(s): Wahinya, P K  (author)orcid ; Brown, D J  (author)orcid ; Walkom, S F  (author)orcid ; Bird-gardiner, T  (author); Clarke, B E (author); Smith, J L (author); Swan, A A orcid 
Publication Date: 2023-07-26
Open Access: Yes
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Visual traits are considered valuable components within the breeding objectives of many Merino breeders. This paper aimed to estimate genetic and phenotypic correlations between visual traits and growth, body composition, reproduction and survival in adult ewes. The data were derived from Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) sites. Heritability estimates were high for body weight, eye muscle depth, fat depth, body wrinkle, breech wrinkle, breech cover and classer grade (0.32 – 0.64), moderate for urine stain (0.21) and legs score (0.23) and low for weaning rate (0.07) and ewe survival (0.06). Low to moderate negative (favourable) genetic correlations were estimated between the visual traits and body weight and composition, reproduction, and survival traits. Phenotypic correlations between the visual traits and adult body composition and weaning rate traits were negative and low. The genetic and phenotypic correlations estimated in this study were generally favourable hence consideration of visual traits in selection and classing may have beneficial effects on adult ewe performance.

Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: AAABG 2023: 25th Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Perth, Australia, 26th - 28th July, 2023
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics, v.25, p. 47-50
Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics (AAABG)
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
ISSN: 1328-3227
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300305 Animal reproduction and breeding
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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