Animal genetics, breeding and reproduction research
Breeding stock improvement through genomic selection
We have research expertise in the improvement of breeding stock of various production animals such as sheep, dairy cows and goats to produce animals with better meat, milk and fibre.
Genetic disease in animals
Our work defines breeding objectives for animals, calculates economic values using farm models, examines the contribution of the major histocompatibility complex to disease resistance, and identifies mutations associated with inherited diseases in animals. We work to understand genetic mechanisms underlying production, reproduction and disease resistance. We also have expertise in control and prevention of livestock disease through recombinant DNA techniques.
Pregnancy and birth complications in production animals
Research around measuring fertility cycles and improving fertility to management. Diagnosis and prevention of abortion. We also have post-birth expertise in lactation physiology and mastitis control and management.
Sheep and goat dairying - genetic evaluation
We have expertise in developing prototype models for genetic evaluation using genomic selection of dairy goats (with the NZ Dairy Goat Cooperative) and dairy sheep. This evaluation identifies superior animals to be selected for higher productivity and profitability, creating genetic gain in the national populations in these emergent New Zealand industries.
A selection index for dairy sheep has been developed by Massey researchers.
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Animal Genetic Services
Massey University’s Equine Parentage and Animal Genetics Services Centre offers the most comprehensive range of DNA-based genetic testing for animals in New Zealand.
AL Rae Centre for Genetics and Breeding
The Centre ensures sustained development and application of knowledge in quantitative genetics and breeding to enhance the profitability of New Zealand's primary industries.