Project Number: 2056-31610-006-05-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 15, 2015
End Date: Sep 30, 2019
In a range sheep production environment, evaluate different meat-type breeds/composites of sheep for key traits such as, reproduction, longevity, disease resistance/tolerance, growth performance and efficiency, conformation, mature size, and progeny carcass size and quality. Use quantitative and genetic marker-assisted selection methods to improve/enhance the ability of meat-type breeds/composites, used in terminal-sire mating programs, to produce progeny that efficiently meets consumer expectations.
Research is focused on identifying and describing genetic sources in current American terminal-sire sheep breeds and emerging composite breeds that can be used to increase progeny health and survivability, growth performance and efficiency, and carcass size and quality to ultimately yield a premium lamb product for American and international consumers. Both genetic marker-assisted and EBV-based selection tools will be identified/developed and used to advance terminal sire breeds/composites to achieve targeted production types for evaluation. Results and products from the evaluations will be promptly transferred to the industry for advancement of the profitability, quality, and competitiveness of the American sheep industry.