Livestock Studies 2001, Vol 41, Num, 1     (Pages: 045-058)

Some Important Production Traits of Central Anatolian Merino Sheep and possibilities of improving through selection of these traits I. Important Production Traits

Necmettin ÜNAL 1 ,Halil AKÇAPINAR 1

1 Ankara Üniversitesi Veteriner Fakültesi Zootekni Anabilim Dalı Dışkapı Ankara Viewed : 114 - Downloaded : 56 This study was carried out to investigate the possibilities of improving through selection of the some important production traits in Central Anatolian Merino Sheep kept at Konya Central Animal Research Institute. For this purpose, the present performance levels and the effects of some measurable environmental factors on the some production traits have been determined and the phenotypic and genetic parameters of these traits have been estimated and also a selection index has been constructed. In this part of the study, performance levels for some important production traits have been considered.

In the study, birth rate, twinning rate and litter size of ewes were found as 80.80%, 39.64% and 1.40, respectively. Of the lambs born live, 91.77% survived to 30 days, 87.98% to 105 days (weaning) and 85.89% to 180 days. The least squares means for lambs were 4.65 kg for birth weight, 24.51 kg for weaning weight and 37.10 kg for 180 days weight. The effects of the birth year, age of dam, sex, type of birth - rearing and birth weight of lamb on lamb weights at different ages were generally statistically significant (P<0.05, P<0.01, P<0.001). The least squares means of yerling females were 48.98 kg for body weight after shearing, 3.79 kg for greasy wool production, 22.37 μ for fiber diameter, 9.22 cm for fiber length and 12.11 crimps per inch; corresponding means for breeding ewes were 60.05 kg, 3.35 kg, 22.19 μ, 7.45 cm and 11.71 crimps per inch. The effects of the age of dams, year and sex on the some production traits and also the effects of the age of ewe, year and fertility status of ewe on the some production traits were generally significant (P<0.05, P<0.01, P<0.001). The results of the study showed that important production traits of Central Anatolian Merino sheep were satisfactory level, but survival rate of lambs was found lower than other Merino sheep breeds, and this breed can be used for lamb production. Keywords : Sheep, Merino, fertility, survival rate, growth, wool production