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Effects of some environmental factors on weanling traits of range Columbia, Corriedale and Targhee lambs



Effects of some environmental factors on weanling traits of range Columbia, Corriedale and Targhee lambs



Jour Animal Sci 5(3): 318-325



The effects of sex, age of dam, type of birth, age at weaning and percent inbreeding were studied on 478 Columbia, 238 Corriedale and 366 Targhee lambs raised in 1941 and 1942 at the U. S. Sheep Expt. Station, Dubois, Idaho. Differences in weaning wt. between ram lambs and ewe lambs, lambs from mature and 2-yr.-old dams, and single and twin lambs were 10.8, 8.7 and 11.7 lb., respectively. Ewe lambs, lambs from mature dams, and single lambs had longer staple and were given higher type and condition scores than the contrasting groups. Face covering and neck folds were not strongly influenced by any of the factors. Merit in each of the traits increased with age at weaning as indicated by regression coeffs. Inbreeding had a noticeably detrimental effect upon weaning wt., body type and condition, but not upon length of staple. The animal breeder may accelerate animal improvement through selection to the extent that he can accurately adjust for measurable environmental effects. Adjustment of weanling traits for environmental influences in these breeds is most important for body wt. and body type, is of some value for staple length and condition score, and is of minor value for scores of neck folds and face covering. Where records are unavailable, similar results may be obtained by proportional selection of lambs from groups of early and late lambs, 2-yr.-old and mature dams, [male] and [female] , and singles and twins.

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Accession: 013697563

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