BREEDING FINNSHEEP IN FINLAND
Finnsheep belong to the group of northern short tailed sheep breeds and have several different colours: white, brown, black and grey. The Finnsheep herd book was founded in 1922, ProAgria runs the National breeding program for sheep.
In 2015, there were 10,040 Finnsheep ewes in the recording program and the number has increased since. The mean live weight of adult ewes was 72 kg. Usually lambs were slaughtered at 20.4 kg carcass weight at an average age of 252 days with killing out % of 42. Carcasses were classified using the EUROP grid, and 69% belong to O class, 17% R and 8% P.
At the moment, breeding values (EBVs) are calculated only for meat production traits. Estimates are based on phenotypic results in sheep recording: weighing, scanning and evaluation of body conformation. Indexes are evaluated every other week.
Although only breeding values are calculated for meat traits, there are also many other important traits for breeding: growth, lamb production, fertility, adult weight, conformation, carcass quality and production and quality of wool.
Results and conclusions
Breeding the Finnsheep for meat production is economically feasible. Litter sizes compensate for lower slaughter weight. The meat of Finnsheep has a special flavor. The breed is also very suitable for grazing in traditional rural areas and islands. Wool is fine and of a good lustre, ideally suited for handicraft the skin as well.
ProAgria is participating in the work of developing new breeding indexes, improving recording systems and keeping an advisory organization for farmers.
|2016||Nr.|| 3-day weight,
6 weeks –
4 months, g
Abstract no.: 27214
Author: Mero, H. 1, Ahlskog, K. 2
1 Association of ProAgria Centres, Urheilutie 6 D, PL 251, 01301 Vantaa, FINLAND
2 ProAgria Southern Finland, Näsilinnankatu 48 D, PL 97 33101 Tampere, FINLAND