Submitted Date : 29-07-2014
Accepted Date : 27-02-2015
Data on 1763 Mecheri sheep, maintained at the Mecheri Sheep Research Station, Pottaneri, Salem, south India, and recorded between 1991 and 2006, were analysed to study the growth related traits and their genetic control. The average weights at birth and at 12 months of age were 2.25 ± 0.01 and 17.48 ± 0.14 kg, respectively. The pre- and post-weaning (3-6, 3-9 and 3-12) average daily weight gains were 63.40 ± 0.58, 39.57 ± 0.57, 37.48 ± 0.44 and 34.31 ± 0.42 g respectively. The heritabilities of body weights and weight gains were in general moderate to high. The phenotypic and genetic correlations among body weights were positive and moderate to high. The phenotypic and genetic correlations among average daily gains were positive and low to high. The estimates of genetic correlation among average daily gains and body weights were positive and high with few exceptions.