Opportunities to Reduce Seasonality of Breeding in Sheep by Selection
Author: D. R. Notter
Seasonal reproduction is a serious problem for the sheep industry, reducing effectiveness of accelerated lambing programs, restricting flexibility to integrate lambing into other farm activities, and limiting access to favorable seasonal markets. Environmental or hormonal stimulation of reproduction requires increased investment in feed, labor, and (or) facilities, increases cost of production, often requires access to products that are not readily available or not approved for use in sheep, and may not be feasible in extensive or semi-extensive production systems. However, substantial evidence exists to document genetic differences in seasonality of breeding, leading to opportunities to reduce seasonality by selection.