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Response to selection for litter size in galway sheep


, : Response to selection for litter size in galway sheep. Irish Journal of Agricultural Research 15(3): 291-300

The results of a retrospective selection experiment on litter size in a large recorded Galway [Ireland] flock are described. The distribution of genetic merit for litter size was examined for ewes with from 1-5 lambing records. Based on this distribution, ewes belonging to the top 3.4% of the population were identified. The litter size records of the female progeny of these ewes were compared with contemporary ewes in a control Galway flock. The weighted average superiority of the selected ewes was 0.099 .+-. 0.046. This difference was significant (P < 0.025). The realized heritability of litter size was estimated to equal 0.077 .+-. 0.036 and daughter-dam regression provided an estimate of 0.075 .+-. 0.038. The correlated response in ewe body weight was negligible. The implications of these results for national breed improvement programs were examined. Possible annual rates of progress in a breed improvement program were estimated to be about 1.0-1.5% provided that no selection effort was wasted.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.2307/25555831


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