Date of this Version
Performance of 14 ewes imported from France and their progeny born in Canada over a period of five years are reported. Least-squares means for fertility were 100% for ewes mated in the fall and winter and 42% for those mated in the summer (May - June). Litter size at birth (2.86 ± .15) and at weaning (2.10 ± .15) were significantly affected by season of mating and parity. The most prolific matings were those of the fall (3.18) and of ewes in their 5th parity (3.54). On the average .52 (18.2%) lambs died at birth and a further .25 (8.7%) before weaning. In all, 27% of the lambs born died before weaning. Mortality was particularly high in the first year (40%). Litter weight averaged 7.1 kg at birth total, 6.0 kg alive and 39.0 kg weaned. Romanov carcasses dressed between 43 and 46%; they were slightly shorter and less developed in the hind quarters than the Suffolk carcasses. Significant differences were found between castrated and non-castrated Romanov lambs, particularly in traits related to fat deposition and area of loin-eye muscle. The results showed that the Romanovs adapted well to the Canadian conditions.