Farm Table says:
What is the problem?
The sheep industry in Uruguay has changed and breeding data is out of date. The authors wanted to estimate the crossbreeding parameters between Corriedale and Texel breeds for lamb growth rate and survival traits.
What did the research involve?
Growth and viability traits of 1047 lambs from 2010 -2013 were recorded.
Four breed types were analyzed:
- purebred Texel (T.T)
- Corriedale (C.C)
- T-sired (T.C)
- C-sired (C.T) crossbreed.
All mothers and lambs were managed together from birth to weaning. Some rams were used across the four years to link biotypes.
In total, 21 rams were used (11 T and 10 C) and from these, 3 T and 3 C rams connected years while 15 rams connected types. The growth traits that were measured were the birth weight (BWT), weaning weight (WWT) and growth from birth to weaning (GBW). Lamb viability was measured using survival (0 to 1) at birth (SB), at 72 yrs of age (S72) and at weaning (SW).
What were the key findings?
At birth and at 72 hrs, female lambs has a higher probability of surviving than males. Texel was estimated to have a positive effect on BWT (6.9%), WWT (14.2%) and GBW (16.5%), and a maternal effect for WWT (5.5%) and GBW (8.3%). Crossbred lambs had a higher probability of surviving than purebreds at 72 hrs and at weaning, due to hybrid vigor.
In farming systems in Uruguay that focus on meat production, it would be more beneficial to keep T.C ewe lambs in the flock and breed them with T rams according to the data presented here.