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Teaching animal science and genetics to Australian university undergraduates to enhance inquiry-based student learning and research with sheep: Growth and conformation traits in crossbred prime lambs


Malau-Aduli, AEO and Nightingale, E and McEvoy, P and Eve, JU and John, AJ and Hobbins, AA and Alamoudi, AAS and Petrie, KR and Damen, P and French, ME and Craigie, AM and Bales, SK and Kashani, A and Holman, B and Vargas Bravo, J and Jones, SM and Malau-Aduli, BS and Lane, PA, Teaching animal science and genetics to Australian university undergraduates to enhance inquiry-based student learning and research with sheep: Growth and conformation traits in crossbred prime lambs, British Journal of Educational Research, 2, (1) pp. 59-76. ISSN 2249-5983 (2012) [Refereed Article]


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The primary objective of this Australian Wool Education Trust funded teaching initiative on inquiry-based learning and research-led teaching approach was to enhance studentsí critical thinking and target their learning needs through active participation in hands-on experience with experimental sheep. The secondary objective was to study the effects of sire breed and sex on growth and body conformation traits in crossbred prime lambs at the University of Tasmania Farm, Cambridge. Body weight, average daily gain, body condition score, body length, withers height and chest girth in sixty first cross Merino lambs sired by White Suffolk and Poll Dorset rams were measured fortnightly over a ten-week period. Generalised linear model procedure in SAS was used for statistical analysis and included the fixed effects of sire breed, sex, fortnight and their second order interactions. Duncanís Multiple Range Test, correlations between growth and conformation traits and Bonferroni probabilities were estimated and used for comparisons.

A fortnightly increase in lamb body weight, average daily gain and body condition score was evident. Wethers were heavier and had higher average daily gains than ewes. White Suffolk sired progeny had higher average daily gains than those sired by Dorset rams, but body weight did not differ between sire breeds. However, a highly significant interaction (P<0.0001) between sire breed and sex on body weight was evident as White Suffolk sired wethers were the heaviest prime lambs. It was concluded that the real world, hands-on field trips, data collection, statistical analyses, interpretation and seminar presentation of results facilitated a deeper student understanding of the scientific concepts of sire genetics and nutrition interactions in sheep growth.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:research-based teaching, inquiry-based learning, crossbred lambs, growth, body measurements, White Suffolk, Dorset, Merino, sheep genetics, SETL
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Animal production
Research Field:Animal reproduction and breeding
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Livestock raising
Objective Field:Sheep for meat
UTAS Author:Malau-Aduli, AEO (Associate Professor Aduli Malau-Aduli)
UTAS Author:Nightingale, E (Ms Elissa Nightingale)
UTAS Author:McEvoy, P (Mr Peter McEvoy)
UTAS Author:Eve, JU (Mrs Josiane Eve)
UTAS Author:John, AJ (Mr Alex John)
UTAS Author:Hobbins, AA (Ms Ashley Hobbins)
UTAS Author:Alamoudi, AAS (Mr Abdulrham Alamoudi)
UTAS Author:Petrie, KR (Miss Katelyn Petrie)
UTAS Author:Damen, P (Mr Peter Damen)
UTAS Author:French, ME (Mrs Marion French)
UTAS Author:Craigie, AM (Miss Andrea Craigie)
UTAS Author:Bales, SK (Miss Sandra Bales)
UTAS Author:Kashani, A (Mr Arash Kashani)
UTAS Author:Holman, B (Mr Benjamin Holman)
UTAS Author:Vargas Bravo, J (Miss Jeniffer Vargas Bravo)
UTAS Author:Jones, SM (Professor Susan Jones)
UTAS Author:Malau-Aduli, BS (Dr Bunmi Malau-Aduli)
UTAS Author:Lane, PA (Associate Professor Peter Lane)
ID Code:73385
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2011-09-29
Last Modified:2013-05-13
Downloads:681 View Download Statistics

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