Growth and hogget reproduction were recorded in Texel, Oxford Down (Oxford) and Finnish Landrace (Finn) purebreds and crosses born in 1985, 1986 and 1987. Border Leicester and Suffolk cross hoggets were included in 1986 and Suffolk cross, Coopworth and Perendale hoggets in 1987. Amongst the purebreds, Oxfords were heavier at weaning than Texels and Finns (100: 92: 89), and as yearlings (100: 93: 88). Amongst the crossbreds born in 1986, Oxfords were heaviest at weaning with Texel, Border Leicester and Suffolks intermediate and Finn crosses the lightest (100: 97: 96: 95: 92). The yearling weight rankings for these 5 crosses were 100: 98: 94: 93: 88. Following entire joining in May after treatment with progesterone impregnated controlled internal drug releasers and pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin, the number of lambs born per hogget joined were, for 1985 and 1986 born purebreds, 1.40 and 1.11 in Finns; 0.76 and 0.96 in Texels and 0.21 and 0.51 in Oxfords. Amongst the 1986 born crosses, Finns ranked highest (1.31 lambs per hogget), Border Leicester, Suffolk and Texel crosses were intermediate (0.61 to 0.65) and Oxfords lowest (0.44). These findings highlight the role of Oxfords for early growth rate and Finns for exceptionally high early reproduction rate.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 48, , 25-28, 1988
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