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Sheep Breeding and Reproduction Dr. Randy Harp. Sheep Genetics 27 pairs of Genes Two genes that form a gene pair may be the same (Homozygous) If they.

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Presentation on theme: "Sheep Breeding and Reproduction Dr. Randy Harp. Sheep Genetics 27 pairs of Genes Two genes that form a gene pair may be the same (Homozygous) If they."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sheep Breeding and Reproduction Dr. Randy Harp

2 Sheep Genetics 27 pairs of Genes Two genes that form a gene pair may be the same (Homozygous) If they are different = Heterozygous If Heterozygous, then one allele of the gene pair may express itself over another = dominance This dominance can vary from complete to co- dominance A hidden gene expression is called recessive

3 Sheep Genetics Some are sex linked Examples Genotype vs Phenotype Estimated phenotypic variance of the flock (pg BRD 19) Heritability

4 Proportion of the total phenotypic variation that is due to the variation in additive gene effects In other words, the proportion of differences due to genetic effects and is important in the prediction of response rates from selection. The square root of the variance is the standard deviation, which is the ave. deviation of each indiv. in the pop. from the pop. Average Heritability est. – handout BRD 33

5 Correlation Quantifies a relationship between two variables Measured between zero and one Positive versus negative correlations Multiple effects (Regression models)

6 Animal Identification Accurate identification Written records Accurate measurements of economic importance ??? Registered or not Two ID nos., one for flock or indiv. ID and the other for registration ID (if reg.)

7 Record Keeping Determine clear goals Allow for records such as pedigree, birth weight, singles or twins, weaning weight, etc. Five categories of records: –REPRODUCTION, MATERNAL, GROWTH, WOOL AND CARCASS

8 Estimated Breeding Value (EBV) EBV = b (P- ave.P), where b is the heritability of a particular trait Example; Ram A has a grease fleece weight of 15 # and the ave. flock grease fleece weight is 11 #, then = selection differential [4] 4 x.4 (h) = 1.6 # of grease fleece advantage for breeding Ram A

9 EPD’s (Expected Progeny Differences) Simply ½ of the EBV The ave. EPD in a population is + or – from the average of the population. A comparison Ex. If a ewe has a +.3 for no. of lambs born, then one would expect the progeny to produce.3 more lambs per lambing than the progeny of average ewes.

10 EPD’s Another ex. is two rams A and B +.5 and +1.1 for fleece weight, respectively Ram B progeny would be expected to have.6 pounds heavier fleeces than Ram A Example 3; Ram has +1.0 and Ewe has +.5 for weaning weight, then the progeny will be 1.5 # more than the pop. ave. for WW

11 EPD’s Accuracy Gives an idea of reliability of the estimat Measured from 0-1 An accuracy of.45 is not very reliable, whereas >.9 is considered reliable Low accuracies are a result of limited information known about the parents or low numbers of progeny occur

12 Generation Interval The time lapse between birth of an animal and the birth of its replacement – usually 3- 4 years for sheep A measurement of progress or rate of improvement Genetic Improvement per year = heritability x selection differential divided by the generation interval

13 Methods of Selection for Single Traits Individual selection-selection on their own performance Family selection-selection based on bloodlines; useful when (h) is low Pedigree selection-similar to family and is dependent upon how closely related the ancestors. Useful when considering same sex

14 Methods of Selection for Single Traits Progeny Test- observing the performance of the offspring. Must be mated to several ewes and then look at the offspring. Best when looking at carcass traits Combined Selection- uses more than one of the above mentioned methods

15 Methods of Selection for Multiple Traits Tandem Selection- focuses on multiple traits, yet one at a time. After the performance of one is achieved, then move to the next trait Independent Culling- Set minimum standards for more than one trait at a time for the indiv. Cull any that does not meet the min. stds for any trait

16 Methods of Selection for Multiple Traits Selection Index- rank indiv. animals for two or more traits based on a combination effect One the farm testing: Primary focus is on the ewe flock Therefore, traits such as prolificacy, weaning weight and fleece weight

17 National Sheep Improvement Program Oversees the promotion, funding, development and implementation of a national genetic evaluation program for sheep Minimum criteria for record keeping Lamb records: ID #, sire and dam ID, date of birth, sex, type of birth, & type of rearing. Additional records are reproductive, growth and fleece traits

18 NSIP Focuses on: Number of lambs born per ewe lambing Body weight at 30,60,90,120 & 240 days Grease &/or clean fleece wt. Staple length Fleece grade Pounds of lamb weaned per ewe exposed per year

19 Adj. Factors for No. of lambs born per lambing to a common ewe Age of DamAdj. Factor , 6, & 7.96,.96 &

20 Major Economically Important Traits Reproductive Efficiency Carcass Merit Milk Production Total Ewe Production- # lamb/ewe exposed Mature Size Hardiness & Adaptability Wool Production Growth Rate

21 Selection for Growth Growth is a very important trait, esp. for meat breeds Adjusted 90 day weaning weight If birth weight is known: [Actual wt. - birth wt. x adj. Days (90)/ actual age ]+ birth wt. If birth wt. is not known: Actual wt. X adj. Age in days/age

22 Selection for Fleece Traits Grease and Clean Fleece Wts Yield Staple length- at least 3”/yr. Fiber diameter Crimp Color Density Belly Wool-undesirable on sides

23 Importance of Genetic Improvement in Seedstock Flocks Most produce their own replacements Therefore, genetic improvement from outside is by the Ram purchased Theoretically, Genetic merit increases at the same rate as the genetic merit of the rams, yet because of generation intervals and replacement production usually improvement lags two generations behind

24 Mating Systems Purebreeding- common genetic group Outbreeding- unrelated within a breed Inbreeding-closely related with one or more common ancestors (more than 50% related) Linebreeding-common ancesters, but not 50% related Crossbreeding- mating of different breeds Grading Up-enhanced concentration of crossbreeding to rams of a single breed

25 Inbreeding Coefficients Full brother mated to sister =.25 Sire on daughter =.25 Half brother to half sister =.125 Sire on Mother =.5 Therefore; >.5 has to be compounded over time and added generation to generation

26 Crossbreeding Heterosis or Hybrid Vigor Superiority of the crossbred indiv. Relative to the average performance of the parents Maximized when parents have no breed ancestry in common (3 breed terminal X)

27 Crossbreeding Systems Two Breed Terminal(50% Heterosis) Three Breed Terminal (100%) Three Breed Rotational (86 %) Four Breed Rotational (93 %) Two Breed Rotational Roto-Terminal- combination of rotational and terminal systems. The poor ewes would still be used in a terminal crossing manner

28 Inherited Defects Many defects are recdessive in nature Selection pressure is exercised against certain traits, esp. lethals and fleece defects Dwarfism, Spider Syndrome, Jaw Defects, Rectal Prolapse, Inverted Eyelids, Cryptorchidism, Horns or Scurs, Face covering, Color, Skin Folds, Silky, Britch fibers, grey color, paralyzed limbs, earless, etc.

29 Sheep Breeding and Reproduction Improved lamb production More lambs per lambing More frequent lambing Increased percent of total sheep nos. Reducing death losses

30 Sheep Breeding and Reproduction breed dependent - seasonal breeding Puberty-weight and age ( # or 5-9 months) Breed to lamb as 2 year olds, yet can breed as a yearling, but with less efficiency Actually, greater production per lifetime from yearlings; Ramb. is later maturing and less effic. gestation days (med wool less) heat periods - 20 to 42 hours (no signs)

31 Sheep Breeding and Reproduction ovulation occurs late in heat cycle day cycle ave days Prolifacy - > 100% lamb crop flushing ewes works in sheep, too Factors affecting reprod. –daylight ( 100), nutrition

32 Hormonal Control Progesterone (Progestins)- produced by the corpus luteum Prostaglandins- induces the regression of the corpus luteum (ineffective in normally cycling ewes); lutalyse Estrogen Gonadotropins- GnRH, HCG, FSH & LH Melatonin- regulatory of the seasonal breeder; produced by the pineal gland ACTH

33 Sheep Breeding and Reproduction Lambing –> 4 sq. ft. pen for ewes, clean & dry –presentation of front legs –orphan lambs is not uncommon –25% death loss is common –Feed ewes small amounts of water at first with oats, wheat bran and hay (small amounts)

34 Sheep Breeding and Reproduction Ram management mating guide –ram lambhand (20-25) pasture (25-35) –yearling or > hand (50-75) pasture (35-60) –use marker rams to detect bred ewes both at breeding and 60 days after breeding

35 Replacement Ewe Selection Item140 % Prolif170 % Prolif No. ewes100 Ewe lambs7085 Twin lambs4070 Tw lambs > ave. in WW 2035 Ewe lambs exposed 2030 Preg. Ewes20

36 Physiological changes of reproduction in the ewes REPRO – 4 chart Ewes in the south have longer breeding patterns Sheep near the equator are less likely to have seasonal breeding

37 Factors affecting reproduction in the ewe Heredity Age Photoperiod (seasonal) Temperature and humidity Nutrition and Exercise Parturition and lactation Disease and parasites Fertility of & assoc. with the ram

38 Pregnancy Testing Breeding Marks Ultrasonic Scanning- best detected between 70 & 120 days Bagging or Udder Palpation Blood Progesterone- at the time of the next expected heat PSPB- a protein called pregnancy-specific protein B after day 21 of breeding.

39 Factors affecting the reproduction in the Ram Breeding soundness exam Palpation of the testicles, epididymis, and penis and visual appraisal of feet, legs, eyes and jaws. Semen evaluation Disease prevention Heat stress

40 Semen Collection Components- seminal fluid and sperm Quality of sperm – morphology and viability (percent live) Methods- artificial vagina and electroejaculation Semen handling-dilution characteristics: glucose or fructose, egg yolk, citrate or phosphate, antibitotics, glycerol

41 Insemination Natural- 3-5 billion sperm inseminated AI – vaginal approach – 200 million “ AI – cervical approach- 100 million “ AI - Intruterine insemination via lapraroscopic surgery- 20 million Time of insemination – vaginal or cervical = 12 to 18 hrs after onset of estrus Synchronizing with progesterone sponge should be hrs after removal

42 Accelerated and Out-of-Season Lambing Day length control (natural or artificial) Considerations Produce lambs when feeding conditions are favorable (growth rate and cost of feed) Market lambs when lamb supply is low Fertility and prolificacy

43 Desirable traits for accelerated lambing Ewes can breed year round Ewes that can mate while lactacting Ewes that have a good lambing rate (ie twinning) Sires that produce a desirable market lamb and have the libido and fertility for conception year round

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