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Natalie Pickering

Doctor of Philosophy, (Animal science)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Sciences

Citation

Thesis Title
Genetics of flystrike, dagginess and associated traits in New Zealand dual-purpose sheep

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Flystrike is an animal welfare and health problem affecting sheep both in New Zealand and worldwide. Ms Pickering investigated the potential for breeding for flystrike resistant sheep by determining the relationship between flystrike and dag score (faecal accumulation of the perineum region), breech bareness (natural bare skin around perineum), and wool type. Flystrike was found to be most strongly associated with dag score and Ms Pickering developed a new approach for estimating breeding values for dag score. This method has been implemented in the New Zealand sheep evaluation system. It was also found that combining DNA marker (genomic) information in sheep breeding programmes would increase genetic gain by 84%. These results will help reduce flystrike prevalence in New Zealand and will significantly improve farmers’ profits.

Supervisors
Professor Hugh Blair
Mr John McEwan
Dr Patricia Johnson
Associate Professor Rebecca Hickson

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