Estimation of genetic parameters for reproductive traits in Mehraban sheep

https://doi.org/10.17221/8242-CJASCitation:Yavarifard R., Ghavi Hossein-Zadeh N., Shadparvar A.A. (2015): Estimation of genetic parameters for reproductive traits in Mehraban sheep. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 60: 281-288.
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Genetic parameters for basic and composite reproductive traits in Mehraban sheep were estimated. Data included 10 257 records on reproductive performances of 5813 lambs from 69 sires and 603 dams which were collected from 1994 to 2011 in the Mehraban breeding station in Hamedan province, western Iran. Studied traits were litter size at birth (LSB), litter size at weaning (LSW), litter mean weight per lamb born (LMWLB), litter mean weight per lamb weaned (LMWLW), total litter weight at birth (TLWB), and total litter weight at weaning (TLWW). Test of significance to include fixed effects in the statistical model was performed using the GLM procedure of SAS. Genetic parameters were estimated with univariate and bivariate repeatability animal models using WOMBAT program. Direct heritability estimates were 0.16, 0.14, 0.03, 0.16, 0.06, and 0.18 for LSB, LSW, LMWLB, LMWLW, TLWB, and TLWW, respectively, and corresponding repeatabilities were 0.02, 0.01, 0.73, 0.41, 0.27, and 0.03. The estimate for animal-dependent permanent environmental variance ranged from 0.01 ± 0.04 for LMWLW to 0.23 ± 0.04 for LSB. Genetic correlation estimates between traits ranged from −0.98 for LSB–LMWLW to 0.99 for LSB–TLWB. Phenotypic and environmental correlations were generally lower than genetic correlations. Phenotypic correlations ranged from −0.50 for LSB–LMWLB to 0.85 for LMWLW–TLWW. Environmental correlations ranged from −0.45 for LSB–LMWLB to 0.87 for LMWLW–TLWW. The results suggested that indirect selection based on TLWW could improve the reproductive performance in Mehraban ewes more effectively than if based on the other traits.
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