Evaluating the effect of South African Meat Merino breeding on pre- and post-weaning growth, feedlot performance, carcass traits, and wool characteristics
R. M. Knuth1, W. C. Stewart2, J. A. Boles1, C. M. Page2, A. F. Williams1, and T. W. Murphy1*
The South African Meat Merino is a relatively new addition to the U.S. sheep industry and has not been extensively compared to breeds commonly used in Western sheep production. Results from the present study indicate that weaning weight and carcass characteristics were similar between purebred Rambouillet and South African Meat Merino x Rambouillet lambs. However, Rambouillet sired ewes were heavier as yearlings and had lower MFD than South African Meat Merino sired ewes. These results should be interpreted judiciously as a preliminary component of a multi-year study. Future research evaluating lifetime lamb and wool production of South African Meat Merino cross ewes is ongoing with this project
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