Studies on Inbreeding and Its Effects on Growth and Fleece Traits of Muzaffarnagari Sheep

  • Mandal, Ajoy (Genetics and Breeding Division, Central Institute for Research on Goats) ;
  • Pant, K.P. (Genetics and Breeding Division, Central Institute for Research on Goats) ;
  • Notter, D.R. (Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) ;
  • Rout, P.K. (Genetics and Breeding Division, Central Institute for Research on Goats) ;
  • Roy, R. (Genetics and Breeding Division, Central Institute for Research on Goats) ;
  • Sinha, N.K. (Genetics and Breeding Division, Central Institute for Research on Goats) ;
  • Sharma, N. (Genetics and Breeding Division, Central Institute for Research on Goats)
  • Received : 2004.09.26
  • Accepted : 2005.04.12
  • Published : 2005.10.01


A pedigree file of 4,738 records of a purebred flock of Muzaffarnagari sheep, maintained at Central Institute for Research on Goats (CIRG), Makhdoom, for a period of 24 years (1978 to 2001) was used to calculate inbreeding coefficients. The lambtraits studied were birth, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months weights as well as 6 and 12 months fleece yields. The lambs' and ewes' inbreeding coefficients ranged from 0 to 26.4% and 0 to 25%, respectively. The average inbreeding coefficient of lambs was higher than that of ewes in all periods as expected in a closed flock. Fluctuations in lamb and ewe inbreeding were observed in the periods under study. The percentages of animals in the higher inbred categories varied somewhat but generally were relatively constant. The mean rate of inbreeding was 0.63% per generation. The effective population size of the flock was 79.1. On average, an increase of 1% individual inbreeding significantly (p<0.05) reduced weights at birth by 0.010 kg, at 3 month by 0.048 kg, at 6 month by 0.075 kg, at 9 month by 0.129 kg and at 12 month by 0.112 kg. Ewes' inbreeding had non-significant effects on body weight at all ages. Effects of both lambs' and ewes' inbreeding had negative but non-significant effects on fleece weights at 6 and 12 months of age. Thus, inbreeding depression in lambs significantly reduced body weights from birth to 12 months of age but had a negligible effect on fleece yields.


Inbreeding Depression;Effective Population Size;Growth Traits;Fleece Weight


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