From a population of 1270 Coopworth ewe hoggets 70 were selected for high greasy fleece weight (CHFW) at hogget shearing and 50 controls were selected at random (CC). The CHFW ewes were joined in 1987 and 1988 to sires from a Romney high fleece weight (RHFW) flock, also mated contemporaneously within that flock. The CC were mated with commercial Coopworth rams. The CHFW and CC flocks were grazed with the RHFW flock and its control (RC). Results for progeny showed that relative to the RC (100) the greasy fleece weight of the RHFW, CC and RHFW x CHFW were 118, 112 and 125 respectively. Corresponding values for lamb fleece weight were 112, 106 and 121; and for October (12 month) live weight were 106, 109 and 114 respectively. RHFW rams crossed with CHFW ewes generated progeny markedly superior to Romney and Coopworth controls for greasy fleece weight, showing that appropriate breeding programmes can rapidly improve this trait.

VK, Rugambwa, CW Holmes, ACP Chu, and H Varela-Alvarez

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 50, , 269-274, 1990
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