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Reproduction characteristics of merino sheep in extensive grazing areas 

J.J. Olivier

Carnarvon Experimental Farm, Carnarvon, 7060

Six hundred Merino ewes were mated annually in March/April from 1962 to 1918 at the Carnarvon Experimental Farm. A total of 9 509 matings were done. On average, 12 % of the ewes were not served as a result of the fact that a high percentage of the 2-year-old ewes (34 %) and 3-year-old ewes (12%) were not served. Sixteen percent of the ewes that were served failed to Iamb. No age effect was observed. On average 14 % of the Iambs born were twins and 86 % of all the Iambs survived from birth to weaning, On average 10 Iambs were weaned per 100 ewes mated. A curvilinear correlation between the age of the ewe and weaning percentage was found, the 6-year-old ewes being the most fertile.



South African Journal of Animal Science 1982, 12