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Title: Fat depth, muscle depth, fat score and wool growth in Merino dams selected for high or low clean fleece weight and bodyweight
Contributor(s): Refshauge, Peter Gordon (author); Hatcher, S (author); Hinch, Geoffrey  (author)orcid ; Hopkins, David L (author); Nielsen, S (author)
Publication Date: 2010
DOI: 10.1071/AN09210
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Abstract: Concerns exist that selection for increased clean fleece weight (CFW) is expected to reduce body fatness. Such an effect is likely to impact on reproduction; however, all previous studies have examined non-reproductive yearlings or hoggets. The present study, using adult reproductive dams examined the impact of phenotype [based on high or low phenotypic CFW and bodyweight (BWT) performance], stocking rate (high or low) and litter size on body composition and wool traits. High CFW dams were heavier (P < 0.01) with lower fat depth (P < 0.01) and muscle depth (P < 0.05). The high CFW twin-weaning dams had a lower fat score from lamb marking to pre-joining (P < 0.05), but tended to replete fat reserves faster (P < 0.1) between weaning and pre-joining. At these times of repletion these animals grew longer wool staples (P < 0.05). High BWT ewes had reduced staple length (P < 0.01), and when adjusted for maternal liveweight also reduced fat depth (P < 0.001) and muscle depth (P < 0.05). We conclude that the CFW phenotype impacts on fat reserves but that management of dams in groups according to their CFW performance is not warranted.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Animal Production Science, 50(6), p. 479-484
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Collingwood, Australia
ISSN: 1836-5787
Field of Research (FOR): 070206 Animal Reproduction
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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