Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Dubois, Idaho » Range Sheep Production Efficiency Research » Research » Research Project #429930

Research Project: In Utero Effect Twin (Sibling) Sex (Male or Female) on Subsequent Lifetime Productivity of the Ewe

Location: Range Sheep Production Efficiency Research

Project Number: 2056-31610-006-06-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2015
End Date: Sep 30, 2020

Objective:
Using experimental and historic production data determine the in utero effect of sex of twin (sibling) on fetal development and subsequent lifetime productivity of a ewe.

Approach:
(1) Using historical data, determine the in utero effect of sex of twin (sibling) on ewe productivity over a lifetime. Using the USDA Agricultural Research Service Dubois sheep database, a dataset will be constructed to accomplish the objective. We will investigate and identify environmental factors (e.g., sex of sibling) that most influenced ewe lifetime productivity and product quality and how the factors may or may not exhibit generational epigenetic effects. (2) Within the current sheep breeding schedule at ARS-Dubois, conduct periodic pregnancy ultrasonography measures to identify twin embryos and fetuses and subsequently follow fetal development to lambing of twin pregnancies to determine the in utero effect of sex of twin (sibling) on fetal development. Results and products from these approaches will be promptly transferred to the industry for advancement of the profitability, quality, and competitiveness of the American sheep industry.