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Genetic analysis of the growth performance of crossbred sheep

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Afolayan, RA and Malau-Aduli, AEO and Abubakar, BY and Osinowo, OA and Olayemi, ME and Lakpini, CAM (1999) Genetic analysis of the growth performance of crossbred sheep. In: Proceedings of the Nigerian Society for Animal Production: Enhancing the contribution of the livestock sub-sector to the Nigerian economy. Proceedings of the Nigerian Society for Animal Production, 26 (26). Nigerian Society for Animal Production, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria., pp. 300-301. ISBN 978-028-966-6

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Abstract

The mating of closely related animals has long been known to lead to ‘inbreeding depression’ as a result of loss of fitness. On the other hand, crossbreeding animals leads to increased hybrid vigour since the offspring generally speaking, perform better than the average of the parental breeds. Thus, crossbreeding is an important animal breeding tool for the improvement of traits like growth, musculature and survival. Preweaning traits of sheep which influence flock productivity include birth weight, weaning weight, average daily gain to weaning and weaning rate. These traits are in turn influenced by genetic and environmental factors. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of crossbreeding, season, sex and type of birth on the growth performance of crossbred Yankasa, Balami and West African Dwarf lambs sired by 14 sires mated to 147 ewes. Results indicated that single born lambs were significantly heavier (P<0.01) than twins at birth (2.85 vs 2.51kg), weaning (13.47 vs 9.95kg) and grew faster (average daily gain of 116.9 vs 82.96g/day). F3 lambs were heavier at weaning (14.94kg) than their F1 (12.80kg) and F2 (7.10kg) counterparts, thus reinforcing the beneficial effect of heterosis in crossbreeding demonstrated by the F1, lost in the F2 but regained in the F3 generations. Seasonal differences were observed in average daily gain at weaning where October to December lambings had the heaviest weaning weights (14.50kg) and the fastest growth (ADG=132.08g/day) in line with the availability of good quality pasture. It was concluded that crossbreeding could be exploited as a genetic improvement tool for enhancing weaning weight and average daily gains of lambs.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Nigerian Society for Animal Production
Page Range: pp. 300-301
Additional Information: Copyright © 1999 Nigerian Society for Animal Production
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2009 00:11
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:01
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/8818
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