Specialist terminal sire breeds offer several advantages to the commercial farmer, particularly their ability for rapid change in relevant traits in response to market signals. The production, survival and disease resistance benefits resulting from the hybrid vigour in the crossbred progeny have also widely documented. Terminal sires breeds also provide for efficient utilisation of between breed differences in carcass quality and mature weight. However, terminal sires are presently under utilised by the NZ sheep industry. In future this situation is expected to change. Long term trends suggest that carcasses will be paid for on the basis of weight of lean meat. In addition, terminal sire breeders are increasingly using performance recording systems allied with methods of estimating carcass composition, both of which have markedly improved in recent years. Terminal sire breeds are the logical method to distribute major genes affecting growth and carcass quality. The identification, characterisation and "packaging" of these genes will become increasingly routine.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 55, , 324-326, 1995
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