Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

October 2007


Published in Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 124:5 (October 2007), pp. 296–301; doi 10.1111/j.1439-0388.2007.00672.x Copyright © 2007 M. R. Bahreini Behzadi, F. E. Shahroudi, and L. D. Van Vleck; journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin. Used by permission.


Birth weight (BW), weaning weight (WW), 6-month weight (W6), 9-month weight (W9) and yearling weight (YW) of Kermani lambs were used to estimate genetic parameters. The data were collected from Shahrbabak Sheep Breeding Research Station in Iran during the period of 1993–1998. The fixed effects in the model were lambing year, sex, type of birth and age of dam. Number of days between birth date and the date of obtaining measurement of each record was used as a covariate. Estimates of (co)variance components and genetic parameters were obtained by restricted maximum likelihood, using single and two-trait animal models. Based on the most appropriate fitted model, direct and maternal heritabilities of BW, WW, W6, W9 and YW were estimated to be 0.10 ± 0.06 and 0.27 ± 0.04, 0.22 ± 0.09 and 0.19 ± 0.05, 0.09 ± 0.06 and 0.25 ± 0.04, 0.13 ± 0.08 and 0.18 ± 0.05, and 0.14 ± 0.08 and 0.14 ± 0.06 respectively. Direct and maternal genetic correlations between the lamb weights varied between 0.66 and 0.99, and 0.11 and 0.99. The results showed that the maternal influence on lamb weights decreased with age at measurement. Ignoring maternal effects in the model caused overestimation of direct heritability. Maternal effects are significant sources of variation for growth traits and ignoring maternal effects in the model would cause inaccurate genetic evaluation of lambs.