Beside the woolly Prolific Merino and Tsigai breeds, also hairy Barbados Blackbelly, Somali and shedding wool South-African Dorper sheep are bred on the Experimental Farm of the University of Debrecen. The live born data and weaning rates of lambs per ewes were evaluated from the year of 2008 and the first four months of 2009. Comparison has been made between the two woolly breeds and the group of hairy genotypes, as well as the woolly x hairy crossbreds. During the last one and a half year 280 Prolific Merino, 229 Tsigai, and 75 hairy and shedding wool lambs were born, from which 145 (51.78%) Prolific Merino, 185 Tsigai (80.08%) and 70 (93.33%) hairsheep lambs were weaned. In 2009 72 Prolific Merino x hairsheep and 49 Tsigai x hairsheep lambs with 81.94 and 91.84% weaning rates were found. The weaned lamb/ewe index was 1.03 at the Prolific Merino, 1.02 at the Tsigai, 1.64 at the Prolific Merino x hairsheep, 1.15 at the Tsigai x hairsheep and 1.21 at the hairsheep. According to the literature data and their own investigations more than 50% of Dorper and Barbados Blackbelly lambs are twins, while the Somali ewes have regularly single lambs. The purebred and hairy x hairy crossbred lambs have both outstanding viability. The weaning rates of Prolific Merino and Tsigai lambs were lower, as compared to the woolly x hairy crossbreds and those of the hairy genotypes. Woolly x hair or shedding wool crossbred lambs showed better viability and weaning rate, as a result of positive heterosis effects. The weaned lamb/ewe index is the lowest at the purebred Prolific Merinos, and their lambs are small, the weaning loss is high, the great burdening of ewes has probably negative effects on their comfort, welfare, lifetime and lifetime performance.
|Translated title of the contribution||Weaning rates of hairy, woolly and crossbred lambs|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1 2010|
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