DNA results from The Merino Lifetime Productivity Project (MLP) have indicated a surprisingly common occurrence within twin lambs born from syndicate ram matings.
The project isn’t set to conclude until 2024, but early findings uncovered an unusual parentage scenario, with as many as 63 percent of twins sired by two different rams.
To generate reproductive data, the MLP naturally join first-cross ewes to a syndicate of Merino rams. About 584 of the 2015 ewes from one of the research sites were joined with a syndicate of rams.
Of the 68 sets of twins that were born, DNA parentage found that 57 per cent of them had two different sires. And it wasn’t the only time it occurred.
This seemed to be a common occurrence across most of the five research sites.
MLP project manager Anne Ramsay shared some early findings from the project during a MerinoLink Conference in Armidale.
Read the full article on Queensland Country Life