Livestock Studies 1994, Vol 34, Num, 1-2     (Pages: 047-058)

Possibilites of Improving important Production Characteristics of Karacabey Merino Through Selection. I. Performance Levels for Different Characteristics

Mustafa OĞAN 1

1 Uludağ Üniversitesi Veteriner Fakültesi Zootekni Anabilim Dalı, BURSA Viewed : 163 - Downloaded : 102 This paper is concerned with a study carried out the Karacabey Merino flock to investigate the general production level, the effect of some environmental factors on these traits and to obtain estimates of phenotypic and genetic parameters of production characteristics in order to study the possibilities of improving production characteristics of this breed through selection. In this part of study, performance levels for different characteristics in the flock have been considerend.

On the basis of number of ewes assigned for mating, 93.1 % showed estrus and inseminated, 81.5 % were pregnant and 79.5 % lambed; showed rate was 7.57 %. Of the live lambs born, 97.5 % survived to 60 days and 94.7 % to 120 days (weaning). Average birth weights for single-born male and female lambs were 4.48 and 4.32 kg and those for twinborn males and females 4.21 and 4.06 kg respectively. Average 60 day weights, for singleborn male and female lambs 22.0 and 20.7 kg and those for twin born males and females 18.5 and 17.9 kg respectively. 120 days (weaning) weight averaged 38.3, 33.9, 33.9 and 31.0 kg, and 180 days weights 47.1, 36.9, 43.1 and 34.4 kg, in the above order. Average body weight of breeding ewes after shearing were 62.6 kg. The following average values have been obtained for the wool characteristics of breeding ewes, greasy fleece weight 3.35 kg, staple lenght 6.18 cm and fiber diameter 20.27 micron.

The results of this study have shown that Karacabey Merino sheep has a very statisfactory performance in respect of important production characteristics and survival rate. However twinning rate was found low for this breed. It has shown that study concerning improvement of this trait is required. Keywords :