Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in J. Anim. Sci. 2005. 83:552–556.


Analyses of birth and weaning weights, fleece weights of ewes, and number born per litter of Polypay sheep collected at the U.S. Sheep Experimental Station from 1978 through 1998, confirmed previous analyses of three other dual-purpose breeds that cytoplasmic effects do not contribute to variation in these four traits. In general, estimates of genetic parameters that would be needed for national genetic evaluation were similar to previous estimates for Columbia, Rambouillet, and Targhee sheep, although estimates of direct heritability for Polypay were somewhat less for birth weight, slightly greater for weaning weight, significantly greater for fleece weight, and the same for number born as for those three breeds. For birth weight only, evidence was found for important dam × year or dam × number born interactions, which are essentially litter effects, as was found for the other dual-purpose breeds. There were 11,896, 11,104, 7,748, and 7,831 records for birth and weaning weights, fleece weight, and number born per litter, with 255 to 316 sires of animals with records. There were 260 and 261 cytoplasmic lines for fleece weight and number born, and 861 and 882 for weaning and birth weights.