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Article contents

Impact of production strategies and animal performance on economic values of dairy sheep traits

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2011

Z. Krupová*
Affiliation:
Animal Production Research Centre Nitra, Hlohovecká 2, SK-951 41 Lužianky, Slovak Republic
M. Wolfová
Affiliation:
Institute of Animal Science, PO Box 1, 104 01 Prague, Czech Republic
E. Krupa
Affiliation:
Animal Production Research Centre Nitra, Hlohovecká 2, SK-951 41 Lužianky, Slovak Republic
M. Oravcová
Affiliation:
Animal Production Research Centre Nitra, Hlohovecká 2, SK-951 41 Lužianky, Slovak Republic
J. Daňo
Affiliation:
Animal Production Research Centre Nitra, Hlohovecká 2, SK-951 41 Lužianky, Slovak Republic
J. Huba
Affiliation:
Animal Production Research Centre Nitra, Hlohovecká 2, SK-951 41 Lužianky, Slovak Republic
P. Polák
Affiliation:
Animal Production Research Centre Nitra, Hlohovecká 2, SK-951 41 Lužianky, Slovak Republic
*
E-mail: krupova@cvzv.sk
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to carry out a sensitivity analysis on the impact of various production strategies and performance levels on the relative economic values (REVs) of traits in dairy sheep. A bio-economic model implemented in the program package ECOWEIGHT was used to simulate the profit function for a semi-extensive production system with the Slovak multi-purpose breed Improved Valachian and to calculate the REV of 14 production and functional traits. The following production strategies were analysed: differing proportions of milk processed to cheese, customary weaning and early weaning of lambs with immediate sale or sale after artificial rearing, seasonal lambing in winter and aseasonal lambing in autumn. Results of the sensitivity analysis are presented in detail for the four economically most important traits: 150 days milk yield, conception rate of ewes, litter size and ewe productive lifetime. Impacts of the differences in the mean value of each of these four traits on REVs of all other traits were also examined. Simulated changes in the production circumstances had a higher impact on the REV for milk yield than on REVs of the other traits investigated. The proportion of milk processed to cheese, weaning management strategy for lambs and level of milk yield were the main factors influencing the REV of milk yield. The REVs for conception rate of ewes were highly sensitive to the current mean level of the trait. The REV of ewe productive lifetime was most sensitive to variation in ewe conception rate, and the REV of litter size was most affected by weaning strategy for lambs. On the basis of the results of sensitivity analyses, it is recommended that economic values of traits for the overall breeding objective for dairy sheep be calculated as the weighted average of the economic values obtained for the most common production strategies of Slovak dairy sheep farms and that economic values be adjusted after substantial changes in performance levels of the traits.

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Full Paper
Copyright
Copyright © The Animal Consortium 2011

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