Heritability and genetic correlation of production and reproduction traits of Simmental cows
Improvement of production capacity of cattle in terms of increasing the production of milk, milk fat and number of calves, greatly depends on phenotype and genotype variability, heritability and correlation between desirable traits, as well as on the production level of the cattle population. Heritability, as a value expressing and measuring average additive gene effect, is one of the major characteristic of quantitative traits from the point of view of creating genetically high-value cattle populations. Knowledge of the heritability is necessary in the estimation of the beeeding value of cattle and has significant impact on the selection of breeding method. Genetic correlations are very important in indirect selection where changes in one trait are induced through selection of other traits between which a genetic correlation exists. Genetic correlations can be determined in all cases where heritability coefficient can be calculated. This research included 3.461 first calving Simmental cows under control, with lactation concluded within one year. All first-calvers were reared on individual farms in the territory of Republic of Serbia. In this study, heritability and genetic correlations between the the following milk and fertility traits were investigated: duration of lactation (days)- DL, milk yield in standard lactation (kg)- MY, milk fat content in standard lactation (%)- MFC, milk fat yield in standard lactation (kg)- MFY, yield of 4% FCM in standard lactation (kg)- 4%FCM, age at first calving (days)- AC and duration of service period (days)- DSP.
Key words: Heritability, genetic correlations, milk yield, fertility, Simmental breed.