Estimation of Genetic Parameters and Variance Components for Growth Traits of Nguni Cattle in Limpopo Province, South Africa

D. Norris, C. Banga, K. Benyi, B. C. Sithole

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Estimates of (co)variance and genetic parameters of birth, weaning (205 days) and yearling (365 days) weight were obtained using single-trait animal models. The data were analysed by restricted maximum likelihood, fitting an animal model that included direct and maternal genetic and permanent environmental effects. The data included records collected between 1976 and 2001. The pedigree information extended as far back as early 1960s. The heritabilities for direct effects of birth, weaning and yearling weights were 0.36, 0.29 and 0.25, respectively. Heritability estimates for maternal effects were 0.13, 0.16 and 0.15 for birth, weaning and yearling weights, respectively. The correlations between direct and maternal additive genetic effects were negative for all traits analysed. The results indicate that both direct and maternal effects should be included in a selection programme for all the traits analysed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-806
Number of pages6
JournalTropical Animal Health and Production
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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