Determination of the generation interval in the Gyimes Racka and its importance in endangered sheep breeds

  • Lea SCHÜTZ Institut für Tierzucht, Tierernährung und Labortierkunde, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Budapest, István Str. 2, 1078 Budapest, Ungarn
  • László GULYÁS Institut für Tierwissenschaften, Albert-Kázmér-Fakultät von Mosonmagyaróvár, Széchenyi István Universität, Vár Platz 2, 9200 Mosonmagyaróvár, Ungarn
  • Zsombor WAGENHOFFER Institut für Tierzucht, Tierernährung und Labortierkunde, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Budapest, István Str. 2, 1078 Budapest, Ungarn
  • László SÁFÁR Verband für Ungarische Schaf- und Ziegenzüchter, Lőportár Str. 16, 1134 Budapest, Ungarn
  • Zsolt BECSKEI Lehrstuhl für Tierzucht und Genetik, Tierärztliche Fakultät, Belgrad Universität, Bulevar Oslobođenja 18, 11000 Belgrad, Serbien
  • András GÁSPÁRDY Institut für Tierzucht, Tierernährung und Labortierkunde, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Budapest, István Str. 2, 1078 Budapest, Ungarn
  • Edina KÁRPÁTI Antal Wittmann Multidisziplinäre Doktorandenschule für Pflanzen-, Tier- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften, Széchenyi István Universität, Egyetem Platz 1, 9026 Győr, Ungarn
Keywords: generation interval, breed preservation, pedigree analysis


The idea of preserving endangered domestic animal breeds is not new. Despite this, many of these breeds have documented ancestry dating back only a few decades. The Hungarian stud book of the Gyimes Racka breed of sheep was established in 2005. The aim of the authors is to use the pedigree to determine the length of the generation interval in this breed and to compare it with the corresponding results from other breeds. The longest generational gap was found in mother-lamb relationships (4.13 and 4.63 years). This value for the ram-producing mothers was 4.00 years but interestingly the mothers producing female offspring lag behind contribute to reproduction, not much above (4.14 years, P>0.05). The shortest distance between successive generations was found between the breeding rams and their breeding and non-breeding progenies (3.28 and 3.69 years, respectively). In the relationship between the sires and their breeding sons, this value is even lower (3.14 years). On the father's side we get lower values because the rams are changed more often and remain in breeding for a shorter time. Mothers, on the other hand, stay in breeding one year longer (P<0.05). However, within the paths mentioned above, there was no longer any proven difference (P>0.05) depending on the sex of the lambs. Both lower and higher values than these can be found in the literature, depending mainly on how parent-offspring relationships have been defined. In the case of endangered domestic animals, it is advantageous if the generation interval is long, as here the annual mean decrease in genetic diversity is not significant.


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