Animal Production Institute ARC

Irene, South Africa

Animal Production Institute ARC

Irene, South Africa
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Nesengani L.T.,Animal Production Institute ARC | Nephawe K.A.,Tshwane University of Technology | Sebei J.,69 Biccard Street | Norris D.,University of Limpopo | Maiwashe A.,Animal Production Institute ARC
Animal | Year: 2017

A study was conducted to estimate the genetic relationship between weaning weight and milk yield in Nguni cattle. Milk yield data (n=125) were collected from 116 Nguni cows from Mara Research Station located in Limpopo Province and Loskop South Farm located in Mpumalanga Province using the weigh-suckle-weigh technique. Weaning weight data (n=19 065) were obtained from stud Nguni cattle from 146 herds distributed throughout South Africa. Estimates of (co)variance components for milk yield and weaning weight were calculated using PEST and VCE softwares. The average weaning weight, age of the calf at weaning and 24-h milk yield was 158.94 kg, 210 days and 5.25 kg/day, respectively. Heritability estimates for milk yield, direct and maternal weaning weight were 0.22±0.238, 0.47±0.039 and 0.25±0.029, respectively. Estimates of genetic correlations for milk yield and maternal weaning weight, milk yield and direct weaning weight, direct and maternal weaning weight were 0.97±0.063, −0.71±0.416 and −0.56±0.247, respectively. The results indicate that maternal weaning weight is genetically highly predictive of milk yield in Nguni cattle. Maternal breeding values for weaning weight could therefore be used as a selection criterion to improve milk yield in Nguni cattle. © The Animal Consortium 2017

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