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Non-genetic factors affecting reproductive traits in Lohi sheep

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The data on breeding and performance records (3830) of 1134 Lohi ewes kept at an Institutional Livestock Experiment Station, Okara in Punjab province during the period from 1972 through 2001 were used to study the influence of some non-genetic factors such as year and season of birth/lambing, age and weight at first service sex of lamb born, birth type, age of dam on various reproductive traits. The age of ewes at first service averaged 615.6±8.2 days and was not significantly affected by the year and season of birth of the ewes. The ewes born during spring season had comparatively low (613.6±7.9 days) age at first service than autumn born (617.5±9.8 days). The type of birth did not significantly influence age at first service. The least squares mean for the weight at first service was 42.10±0.24 kg and was significantly (P<0.01) influenced by the ewe's year and season of birth. The spring-born ewes were heavier (42.3±0.3 kg) at first service than autumn-born ewes (41.9±0.3 kg). The weight at first service was also significantly affected by the age at first service. The type of birth did not significantly influence weight at first service. The number of services per conception averaged 1.29±0.03 and varied significantly (P<0.01) between seasons. The number of services per conception was higher (1.37±0.02) in ewes bred during autumn than those bred in spring (1.16±0.06). The effects of years and weight at service on the number of services per conception were non-significant. The number of services per conception significantly increased with advancing age. Mean gestation period was 152.31±0.08 days and it was significantly affected by the years and seasons of lambing and the age of the ewe at lambing. However, gestation length was not significantly affected due to birth type and sex of the lamb born.

Keywords: Lohi sheep; age; first service; gestation period; weight

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Livestock Production, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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