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.: Home > Animal Science Papers and Reports > 2015 > Volume 33 Number 3 > Luboš Vostrý 1,2, Michal Milerski 2 , Emil Krupa 2 , Zdeňka Veselá 2 , Hana Vostrá-Vydrová 2

Genetic relationships among calving ease, birth weight and perinatal calf survival in Charolais cattle

Luboš Vostrý 1,2, Michal Milerski 2 , Emil Krupa 2 , Zdeňka Veselá 2 , Hana Vostrá-Vydrová 2
1 Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, CULS Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague, Czech Republic 2 Institute of Animal Science, P.O.Box 1, CZ104 01 Prague Uhřiněves, Czech Republic
Abstract :
Perinatal calf mortality affects profitability of beef cattle production systems, hence, it would
eventually be beneficial to include this trait in a breeding goal. The objectives of this study were
to estimate the environmental effects and heritabilities of and genetic correlations among birth
weight (BW), calving ease (CE) and calf survival (CS) in Charolais cattle, in the Czech Republic.
The dataset contained 27,402 field records. Fixed effects in the 3-trait model were year of birth, age
of dam, sex, and litter size of calf. Random effects in the model were direct and maternal genetic
effects, maternal permanent environment, contemporary group (herd x year x season), and residual.
Birth weight was modelled as a normally distributed trait, while for calf survival a linear logit model
was applied. The CE score was either transformed to be normally distributed (T1) or treated as
a binary trait (T2). For T1, heritabilities for the direct genetic effect were 0.23, 0.21 and 0.05 for
BWd, CEd and CSd, respectively; while heritabilities for maternal genetic effects were 0.10, 0.02
and 0.05 for BWm, CEm, and CSm. Genetic correlations among BW, CE and CS were close to zero
for both direct and maternal genetic effects with the exception of that between BWd and CEd (0.21
for T1 and 0.24 for T2). Results suggest that low additive direct and maternal genetic variances for
calf survival and low to modest direct and maternal genetic correlations between BW, CE and CS
would limit effectiveness of selection for calf survival in a breeding program, in spite of its economic
importance in beef cattle production.
Keywords :
beef cattle, calving traits, threshold , variance components

Date Deposited : 24 Mar 2016 11:00

Last Modified : 24 Mar 2016 11:00

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Volume 33, Number 3, August 2015

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