Genetic parameters of live body weight, body measurements, greasy fleece weight, and reproduction traits in Makuie sheep breed

Shoja Jafari, Ali Hashemi, Reza Darvishzadeh, Ghader Manafiazar


Genetic parameters of production and reproduction traits were estimated using 39,926 records from 5,860 individual progenies of 163 sires and 1,558 dams. The data were collected at Makuie Sheep Breeding and Raising Station (Maku, Iran) from 1989 through 2013. Nineteen traits were classified in four main groups: a) live body weight traits, b) body measurement traits, c) greasy fleece weight traits, and d) reproduction traits. Year of birth, lamb sex, age of dam, and birth type were considered as fixed effects in the animal model. Four different animal models that are differentiated by including or excluding maternal effects were fitted for each trait. The Akaike information criterion was used to determine the most appropriate model for each trait. Parameters were overestimated substantially when maternal effects, either genetic or environmental, were ignored from the models. By ignoring the maternal effects, the traits could be classified into three main groups: body live weight traits with high heritability (0.34-0.46), body measurement and greasy fleece weight traits with medium heritability (0.11-0.27) and reproduction traits with low heritability (0.03-0.20). The genetic correlations among the traits ranged from-0.41 to 0.99. The estimated genetic parameters may be used to set up short/long term breeding program for the selection purpose of Makuie sheep breed.


animal model; production traits; direct and maternal effects; heritability

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2014123-4564