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dc.contributor.authorMcHugh, Noirin
dc.contributor.authorMcDermott, Kevin
dc.contributor.authorBohan, Alan
dc.contributor.authorFarrell, Lydia J
dc.contributor.authorHerron, Jonathan
dc.contributor.authorPabiou, Thierry
dc.identifier.citationNoirin McHugh, Kevin McDermott, Alan Bohan, Lydia J Farrell, Jonathan Herron, Thierry Pabiou, Validation of maternal and terminal sheep breeding objectives using Irish field data, Translational Animal Science, Volume 6, Issue 3, July 2022, txac099,
dc.description.abstractGenetic evaluations provide producers with a tool to aid in breeding decisions and highlight the increase in performance achievable at the farm level through genetic gain. Despite this, large-scale validation of sheep breeding objectives using field data is lacking in the scientific literature. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the phenotypic differences for a range of economically important traits for animals divergent in genetic merit for the Irish national maternal and terminal sheep breeding objectives. A dataset of 17,356 crossbred ewes and 54,322 progeny differing in their maternal and terminal breeding index recorded in 139 commercial flocks was available. The association of the maternal index of the ewe or terminal index of the ram and a range of phenotypic performance traits, including lambing, lamb performance, ewe performance, and health traits, were undertaken. Ewes excelling on the maternal index had higher litter sizes and produced progeny with greater perinatal lamb survival, heavier live weights from birth to postweaning and reduced days to slaughter (P < 0.05). Ewe maternal index had no quantifiable impact on lambing ease, carcass conformation, or fat, the health status of the ewe or lamb, ewe barren rate, or ewe live weight. Lambs born to rams of superior terminal index produced heavier lambs from preweaning onwards, with a reduced day to slaughter (P < 0.05). Lambing traits, lamb health, and carcass characteristics of the progeny did not differ between sires stratified as low or high on the terminal index (P > 0.05). Results from this study highlight that selecting either ewes or rams of superior maternal or terminal attributes will result in an improvement on pertinent performance traits of the national sheep flock, resulting in greater flock productivity and profitability.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipIrish Department of Agriculture
dc.publisherOxford University Press (OUP)en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesTranslational Animal Science;Vol 6
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International*
dc.subjectbreeding objectivesen_US
dc.titleValidation of maternal and terminal sheep breeding objectives using Irish field dataen_US
dc.contributor.sponsorIrish Department of Agriculture, Food and Marineen_US
dc.contributor.sponsorGrantNumberGREENBREED (17/S/235)en_US
dc.contributor.sponsorGrantNumberERA-GAS (2019EN202; GrassToGas)en_US
dc.source.journaltitleTranslational Animal Science

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