Most research reports indicate that very young and very old ewes have lower levels of lamb and wool production than do middle-aged ewes. The most documented findings are that production will be lowest for ewe lambs bred to lamb at 12 to 14 months of age. Although the trend is fairly well-established, individual breeds may mature and produce at different rates. When selecting those ewes which will remain in the flock, it is important to remember that the production at 1 year of age is not an absolute indicator of eventual production levels. Nevertheless, those ewes that exhibit superior production at a young age may continue to produce at levels exceeding contemporaries. If a producer is doing a good job of selection, it would be possible for the young ewes in the flock to out produce some of the older ewes because of genetic superiority. This study evaluated how the age of the ewe affects her production of lamb and wool.
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South Dakota State University
Copyright © 1985 South Dakota State University
Busch, W. J. and Slyter, A. L., "Effects of Breed of Ewe and Management System on the Production of Lamb and Wool 2. Production for Ewes From One to Six Years of Age" (1985). South Dakota Sheep Field Day Proceedings and Research Reports, 1985. 7.