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Effects of sex, birth rearing, and age of dam on yearling crossbred progeny of Texel x Romney sheep

T. Wuliji1 and K. G. Dodds2

1E (Kika) de la Garza Research Institute for Goats, Langston University, Langston, OK
2AgResearch, Invermay Agricultural Center, Mosgiel, New Zealand

Total of 1259 progeny from groups of Romney, Texel x Romney and Texel x Romney intercross were analyzed. Birth-rearing rank, birth weight (BW), weaning weight (WW), spring weight (SW), greasy fleece weight (GF), oven dry yield (%), fiber diameter, bulk, wool brightness (Y) and yellowness (Y-Z) were measured. Data were analyzed by residual maximum likelihood (REML). Genotype, year, sex, birth rearing rank and age of dam were included as fixed effects, birth day as a covariate and sire as a random effect. Effects of sex, birth rearing and age of dam on progeny performance were shown in Table 1. Males were heavier, and grew more yellow and bulkier wool (P<0.01) than females. Single born and reared animals were heavier (P<0.05) than twin born animals, with twins that were single reared being significantly (P<0.05) heavier at weaning than those that were twin reared. The birth rearing rank did not affect the wool characteristics, except for yield where twin born and reared animals were higher (P<0.05) than the other rearing types. Age of dam had no effect on wool characteristics but 2-year dam had slightly lower birth weight and weaning weight than older dams.

Table 1. Effects of sex, birth rearing and age of dam on production parameters.

Sex1 Birth Rearing Rank Age of Dam
Ewe Ram S.E.D SS TS TT SED 2 3 4+ S.E.D
BW 4.5 4.8 0.04 5.5b 4.2ab 4.2a 0.07 4.3 4.8 4.9 .06ns
WW 23.8 25.2 0.62 27.4c 24.3b 21.8a 0.31 23.5a 25.2b 24.9b 0.30
SW 47.5 54.8 0.37 52.9b 50.5a 50.1a 0.54 50.1a 51.4a 52.0b 0.51
GF 2.54 2.74 0.03 2.67 2.62 2.63 .04ns 2.61 2.67 2.64 .04ns
Yield 64.4 62.4 0.27 63.0a 63.3ab 63.8b 0.38 63.0a 63.8b 63.3a 0.34
Bulk 31.7 32.2 0.20 31.8 32.3 31.8 .29ns 32.1b 31.6a 32.1b 0.26
FD 32.5 32.6 0.18 32.5 32.4 32.7 .70 ns 32.6 32.5 32.5 .24ns
Y 65.3 64.0 0.14 64.7 64.7 64.3 .19ns 64.5 64.6 64.7 .17ns
Y-Z 4.6 5.1 0.08 4.9 4.8 4.9 .10ns 4.8 4.9 4.9 .10ns

1: all traits differ significantly for sexes, P<0.01; Means within rows with a different superscript in the trait columns differ, P<0.05; ns: non significant within rows in the trait columns; SS: single born and reared; TS: twin born and single reared; TT: twin born and reared.


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