Research Article

(Co)variance components, genetic parameters and annual trends for calf weights in a Brahman herd kept on floodable savanna

Abstract

(Co)variance components and genetic parameters were estimated for body weights of an elite Brahman herd under a designed, supervised management and genetic program, including strategic artificial insemination (AI). Restricted maximum likelihood methods were used with a univariate animal model for birth weight (BW) and a bivariate model for weaning weight (205-day weight, 205W) and 18-month weight (548-day weight, 548W). Models included random animal direct and maternal genetic effects, maternal permanent environmental effect (c2), and sex-year-month of birth-age of dam and genetic group (identified and unidentified paternity), as fixed effects. Analysis A1 included all calves and analysis A2 included only those with identified sires. Of the 8,066 calves born, 36% were progeny of AI, 11% from single sire and 53% from multi-sire herds. They were born from 1985 to 1998, from 2559 dams and 146 sires (78 identified). Estimates of direct, maternal and total heritabilities from A1 for BW, 205W and 548W were: 0.23, 0.07 and 0.30; 0.08, 0.14 and 0.16; 0.16, 0.04 and 0.28, respectively. Corresponding estimates of direct maternal genetic correlations were 0.22, 0.07 and 0.86, and c2 estimates were 0.04, 0.14 and 0.04, respectively. Estimates of direct and maternal genetic, and permanent environmental correlations between 205W and 548W were: 0.66, 0.70 and 1.00. Variances and genetic parameters from A1 and A2 were, in general, very similar. Estimates of phenotypic, and direct and maternal genetic trends per year from A1 were: 0.393, 0.004 and 0.003 kg (BW), 3.367, 0.142 and 0.115 kg (205W), 1.813, 0.263 and 0.095 kg (548W). Estimates of direct and maternal genetic trends from A2 were: 0.033 and -0.002 kg (BW); 0.186 and 0.276 kg (205W); 0.471 and 0.136 kg (548W). The modern selection methods that have been used recently should be continued, with emphasis on the improvement of cow efficiency for sustainable beef production on floodable savanna combined with improved pasture.

(Co)variance components and genetic parameters were estimated for body weights of an elite Brahman herd under a designed, supervised management and genetic program, including strategic artificial insemination (AI). Restricted maximum likelihood methods were used with a univariate animal model for birth weight (BW) and a bivariate model for weaning weight (205-day weight, 205W) and 18-month weight (548-day weight, 548W). Models included random animal direct and maternal genetic effects, maternal permanent environmental effect (c2), and sex-year-month of birth-age of dam and genetic group (identified and unidentified paternity), as fixed effects. Analysis A1 included all calves and analysis A2 included only those with identified sires. Of the 8,066 calves born, 36% were progeny of AI, 11% from single sire and 53% from multi-sire herds. They were born from 1985 to 1998, from 2559 dams and 146 sires (78 identified). Estimates of direct, maternal and total heritabilities from A1 for BW, 205W and 548W were: 0.23, 0.07 and 0.30; 0.08, 0.14 and 0.16; 0.16, 0.04 and 0.28, respectively. Corresponding estimates of direct maternal genetic correlations were 0.22, 0.07 and 0.86, and c2 estimates were 0.04, 0.14 and 0.04, respectively. Estimates of direct and maternal genetic, and permanent environmental correlations between 205W and 548W were: 0.66, 0.70 and 1.00. Variances and genetic parameters from A1 and A2 were, in general, very similar. Estimates of phenotypic, and direct and maternal genetic trends per year from A1 were: 0.393, 0.004 and 0.003 kg (BW), 3.367, 0.142 and 0.115 kg (205W), 1.813, 0.263 and 0.095 kg (548W). Estimates of direct and maternal genetic trends from A2 were: 0.033 and -0.002 kg (BW); 0.186 and 0.276 kg (205W); 0.471 and 0.136 kg (548W). The modern selection methods that have been used recently should be continued, with emphasis on the improvement of cow efficiency for sustainable beef production on floodable savanna combined with improved pasture.

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