Research Article

Genetic and environmental factors that influence production and quality of milk of Alpine and Saanen goats

Published: December 14, 2011
Genet. Mol. Res. 10 (4) : 3794-3802 DOI: 10.4238/2011.December.14.9

Abstract

Data from 1279 lactations of 783 Alpine and Saanen goats of the herd of our university in Minas Gerais, Brazil, were used to study environmental effects on and to estimate genetic parameters for milk production until 270 days of lactation (MP270) and for production and percentages of fat (PFAT and %FAT), protein (PPROT and %PROT), lactose (PLACT and %LACT), and total dry extract (PEXTR and %EXTR). Environmental effects were estimated by a statistical model that included contemporary group effect, type of kidding, genetic grouping, and kidding order. A multi-trait animal model with animal and permanent environment random effects was used to estimate genetic parameters and the significant environmental effects (fixed). Contemporary group influenced all traits; genetic grouping did not influence %LACT; type of kidding did not influence PFAT, %PROT or %LACT, and kidding order did not influence %FAT or %EXTR. Heritability and repeatability estimates were, respectively, 0.19 and 0.37 (MP270); 0.10 and 0.20 (PFAT); 0.12 and 0.24 (PPROT); 0.15 and 0.27 (PLACT); 0.13 and 0.24 (PEXTR); 0.21 and 0.34 (%FAT); 0.39 and 0.44 (%PROT); 0.17 and 0.29 (%LACT); 0.31 and 0.47 (%EXTR). Estimates of genetic correlations among MP270 and production of milk constituents were positive and high, but correlations between MP270 and %FAT, MP270 and %PROT, MP270 and %ESTR were moderate and negative. These heritability estimates show that satisfactory genetic gains can be obtained by selection, especially for milk constituents.

Data from 1279 lactations of 783 Alpine and Saanen goats of the herd of our university in Minas Gerais, Brazil, were used to study environmental effects on and to estimate genetic parameters for milk production until 270 days of lactation (MP270) and for production and percentages of fat (PFAT and %FAT), protein (PPROT and %PROT), lactose (PLACT and %LACT), and total dry extract (PEXTR and %EXTR). Environmental effects were estimated by a statistical model that included contemporary group effect, type of kidding, genetic grouping, and kidding order. A multi-trait animal model with animal and permanent environment random effects was used to estimate genetic parameters and the significant environmental effects (fixed). Contemporary group influenced all traits; genetic grouping did not influence %LACT; type of kidding did not influence PFAT, %PROT or %LACT, and kidding order did not influence %FAT or %EXTR. Heritability and repeatability estimates were, respectively, 0.19 and 0.37 (MP270); 0.10 and 0.20 (PFAT); 0.12 and 0.24 (PPROT); 0.15 and 0.27 (PLACT); 0.13 and 0.24 (PEXTR); 0.21 and 0.34 (%FAT); 0.39 and 0.44 (%PROT); 0.17 and 0.29 (%LACT); 0.31 and 0.47 (%EXTR). Estimates of genetic correlations among MP270 and production of milk constituents were positive and high, but correlations between MP270 and %FAT, MP270 and %PROT, MP270 and %ESTR were moderate and negative. These heritability estimates show that satisfactory genetic gains can be obtained by selection, especially for milk constituents.