The Poll Merino
is a subtype of the Australian Merino
breed of domestic sheep
, without horns
, that was developed in Australia.
These sheep are early maturing, large framed and relatively plain bodied, producing a fleece which is soft handling and of good colour thus retaining the attributes of the Merino. Polled Merinos are now found in the various strains of Merinos.Stephens, M (et al.
), Handbook of Australian Livestock
, Australian Meat & Livestock Export Corporation, 2000 (4th ed.), ISBN 1 74036 2160
A single gene
with three possible alleles
controls horn inheritance in Australian Merinos.
<table border=1><tr><th>allele</th><th>Result</th><th>Comment</th></tr><tr><td>P</td><td>Poll</td><td>Dominant to p and P<sup>1</sup></td></tr><tr><td>P<sup>1</sup></td><td>Horns</td><td>Recessive to P, Dominant to p</td></tr><tr><td>p</td><td>Horns in rams, scurs in ewes</td><td>Recessive to P<sup>1</sup> and P</td></tr></table>
Poll Merino rams are not susceptible to poll strike (maggots behind the horns) which results from fighting and which can cause temporary infertility. They are also easier to crutch
and shear, are less likely to become caught in fences... Read More