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Reproduction characteristics of merino sheep in extensive grazing areas



Reproduction characteristics of merino sheep in extensive grazing areas



South African Journal of Animal Science 12(3): 379-382



Merino ewes (600) were mated annually in March/April from 1962-1978 at the Carnarvon Experimental Farm [South Africa]. A total of 9509 matings were done. On average, 12% of the ewes were not served because a high percentage of 2 yr old ewes (34%) and 3 yr old ewes (12%) were not served. Of the ewes that were served, 16% failed to lamb. No age effect was observed. On average, 14% of the lambs born were twins and 86% of all the lambs survived from birth to weaning. On average, 70 lambs were weaned/100 ewes mated. A curvilinear correaltion between the age of the ewe and weaning percentage was found, the 6 yr old ewes being the most fertile.

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