Articles | Volume 51, issue 4
10 Oct 2008
 | 10 Oct 2008

Futteraufnahme und Fressverhalten wachsender Lämmer – 1. Mitteilung: Heritabilitäten und genetische Korrelationen

R. Wassmuth, E. Gernand, H. Lenz, and C. Mendel

Abstract. Title: Feed intake and eating behaviour of growing lambs, 1st communication: heritabilities and genetic correlations
In the test stations “Grub” (Bavaria) and “Schöndorf” (Thuringia) data were collected on lambs of the breeds Merinolandschaf and Merino Longwool. Feed intake during the whole test period (FAP), feed efficiency (FAW), daily feed intake (TFM), the number of daily visits (TBH) and eating time (TBD) of lambs were measured. In total, data from 1,608 lambs with 37,161 daily records in “Grub” and 1,424 lambs with 35,356 daily records in “Schöndorf” were included. The aim of the present study was to estimate heritabilities and genetic correlations for different traits of feed intake and eating behaviour. In “Schöndorf” the heritability of FAP and FAW was 0.29 and 0.32, respectively. In the test station “Grub” the heritability of the same traits was 0.58 and 0.57, respectively. The heritability of TBH, TBD and TFM were 0.33, 0.25 and 0.05, respectively, in “Schöndorf” and 0.49, 0.36 and 0.10, respectively, in “Grub”. The genetic correlations between the eating behaviour traits TBH and TBD on one hand and feed intake (FAP, FAW, TFM) on the other hand were low.

It could be concluded that feed intake as well as eating behaviour showed considerable variances and heritabilities. Further, eating behaviour was not a good indicator of feed intake.