Breeding ewe lambs at 7 to 9 months of age can increase their lifetime productivity and profitability (Young et al. 2010; Kenyon et al. 2011, 2014). Further, in theory, increased genetic gain can be made from selecting progeny born to ewe lambs as replacement ewes. However, little is actually known about the long-term phenotypic impacts of such a management option. Loureiro et al. (2012) examined the reproductive and lactational performance of 18-month-old ewes born to either ewe lambs or mature ewes and reported little difference. They did, however, report that in one of two years, lambs born to dams who themselves were born from ewe lambs (i.e., the grand-offspring) were slightly heavier at weaning than grand-offspring from mature ewes. If this apparent effect was found to be consistent after weaning, and also to affect carcass characteristics, it might indicate a potential advantage of selecting replacement ewes born to ewe lambs. To date, these relationships have not been examined. Therefore, the present study examined the live weight and carcass characteristics of two cohorts of male lambs born to ewes that themselves were born to either mature ewes or ewe lambs...
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 74, Napier, 196-198, 2014
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