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Performance of crossbred Welsh Mountain ewes in the hill environment

  • B T Wolf (a1), B M L McLean (a2), O D Davies (a3) and J B Griffiths (a3)

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The Welsh Mountain sheep is a numerically important breed in the UK, but its lambs are characterised by low slaughter weights and poor carcass conformation. The reduction in stocking rates that is often associated with environmental conservation schemes, offers the potential for the use of larger ewes. Crossbreeding allows more rapid genetic change to be undertaken than would be possible from selection within breeds, and affords the potential to utilise heterosis and improve the quality of subsequent crosses with the Bluefaced Leicester. This work compared the survival and productivity of purebred Welsh Mountain ewes with a range of crossbred ewe types maintained in a hill environment.

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McLean, B.M.L., Davies, O.D., Evans, D.E., Wolf, B.T. 2006. Crossbred lamb performance from four breeds of sire mated to Welsh Mountain ewes in the hill environment. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science: 38
Speijers, M.H.M., Carson, A.F., Irwin, D., Dawson, L.E.R. 2007. Performance of crossbred ewes in the hill sector. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science: 117

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