Heritabilities and genetic correlations were estimated for New Zealand Romney sheep from within the selected and control lines of a 25-year selection experiment for greasy hogget fleece weight and yearling body weight. Average repeatability of clean fleece weight in 1 to 5 year-old ewes was 0.56, 25% higher than the average heritability of 0.44. The average genetic correlation among measurements at different ages was 0.89. Sexual dichotomy in the relative predictive power of hogget records was most apparent for greasy and clean fleece weights but was evident to some degree for bulk and brightness as well, due mainly to lower heritabilities in male compared to female hoggets. Average co-heritability of greasy hogget with adult clean fleece weights was 25% lower for male (0.26) compared to female (0.35) hoggets, in this case due to a lower genetic correlation (0.69 vs 0.81) as well as a lower heritability (0.33 vs 0.43, respectively). A repeatability model seemed an adequate approximation for estimation of breeding merit for most wool quality traits studied but not for lifetime wool production.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 59, , 23-26, 1999
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