The Growth and Survival Characteristics of Lambs Produced by Commercial Crossbreeding Kıvırcık Ewes with F_2 Rams with the German Black-Headed Mutton Genotype


Abstract: This study was conducted to compare the growth and survival characteristics of crossbred lambs produced by mating Kıvırcık ewes with German Black-Headed Mutton (GBM) x Kıvırcık (F_2) rams, GBM x Merino (F_2) rams, as well as the growth and survival characteristics of purebred Kıvırcık lambs. The data were obtained from 59 (GBM x Kıvırcık) x Kıvırcık, 59 (GBM x Merino) x Kıvırcık, and 60 purebred Kıvırcık lambs. The birth weights of (GBM x Kıvırcık) x Kıvırcık, (GBM x Merino) x Kıvırcık, and purebred Kıvırcık lambs were 4.08, 4.32, and 3.85 kg, respectively. The differences of birth weight between the genotype groups were statistically significant (P < 0.001). The weaning weights of these groups were 19.33, 19.38, and 17.58 kg, respectively. The difference in weaning weights between the crossbred genotypes was not significant (P > 0.05), whereas the differences between the crossbred lambs and the purebred Kıvırcık lambs were significant (P < 0.05). The effects of genotype, birth type, sex, and age of dam on the growth of lambs were investigated. All these effects, except age of dam, were significant. Among the genotypes, 88.13%, 91.53%, and 90.00% of the lambs survived to be weaned, respectively. The results of this study showed that crossbred lambs produced by the use of F_2 rams, which carry the GBM genotype, had higher growth performance than purebred Kıvırcık lambs, although they had similar survival rates.

Keywords: Sheep, crossbreeding, growth, survival rate

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