The CAMDA group breeding scheme was established in 1976. Its objective is to increase lamb growth rate, mature size and maternal ability of the Welsh Mountain sheep while retaining their hardiness and breed type. The opportunity to achieve this goal depends on the extent of genetic variation within the breed for these traits. The objective of this study was to estimate the amount of variation in 18-week live weight attributable to the lamb genotype (direct) and dam maternal ability, both genetic and environmental, in Welsh Mountain sheep within this scheme.
A total of 12954 records of 18-week live weight of Welsh Mountain lambs collected between 1976 and 1995 from 4 flocks of the CAMDA scheme were considered. The data were edited for small contemporary groups and for incomplete performance or pedigree recording.
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