Estimation of genetic parameters for growth traits in Brangus cattle
A combination of multiple trait and repeatability models were used to estimate genetic parameters for birth weight (BW), weaning weight (WW), yearling weight (YW), eighteen month weight (FW) and three measurements of mature weight (MW) using 23 768 records obtained from the South African Brangus Cattle Breed Society. The data covered a period of 7 generations from 1985 to 2010. Direct heritability estimates obtained were 0.21 ± 0.024, 0.23 ± 0.021, 0.22 ± 0.025, 0.29 ± 0.029 and 0.24 ± 0.019 for BW, WW, YW, FW and MW, respectively. Maternal heritability estimates for birth weight and weaning weight were 0.05 ± 0.01 and 0.11 ± 0.001, respectively. The direct genetic correlations between the different traits were all positive, ranging from moderate (0.43 ± 0.081) between YW and MW to high (0.99 ± 0.043) between WW and FW.
Keywords: (Co)variance components and ratios, repeatability models, South African Brangus cattle