Demonstrating heritability of footrot resistance at the central progeny test (CPT)

The two key objectives of the FeetFirst project are:

  • To develop a genomic breeding value (gBV) that will reliably predict genetic resistance to footrot in fine wool sheep.
  • To establish the genetic correlations between footrot resistance and other important traits, enabling breeders to incorporate selection for footrot resistance into a balanced breeding objective.

The data being generated by the fine-wool central progeny test (CPT) is crucial to achieving both of these objectives.

We recently collected foot score data for the progeny from the 2014 CPT (following a footrot challenge in the wether progeny).  The sire averages ranged from 2.50 to 3.43 (on a 0 to 4 scale), showing the variation between sires in their genetic resistance.

The 2014 CPT sires included seven of the top-performing rams from the ram footrot challenge trial undertaken in 2013-14.  These seven rams ranked 2nd, 5th, 6th, 11th, 14th, 19th and 22nd for footrot resistance out of the 41 sires in the 2014 CPT, demonstrating the heritability of genetic resistance.

Visit the central progeny test page for further information about the fine-wool CPT managed by NZM.