Genetic analyses on bodyweight, reproductive, and carcass traits in composite beef cattle
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In beef cattle, growth, reproductive, and carcass traits have been studied for improving productivity and quality of meat products. The aim of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for birth (BW), weaning (WW) and yearling (YW) weights, scrotal circumferences at weaning (SCW) and yearling (SCY), age at first calving (AFC), ribeye area (REA) and back fat thickness (BFT) in order to provide support for the evaluation program of the composite Canchim breed. Data on 12967 (BW), 7481 (WW), 5131 (YW), 1447 (SCW), 1224 (SCY), 1400 (AFC), and 2082 (REA and BFT) animals were analysed using the Average Information Restricted Maximum Likelihood method under an animal model (single and multi-trait analyses). A substantial proportion of the variation in the bodyweights, scrotal circumferences and carcass traits was associated with the additive genetic term indicating that these traits may respond to the selection process. For AFC, a low heritability estimate was observed. Genetic correlations among bodyweights varied from 0.41 to 0.93. The genetic correlation among scrotal circumferences was 0.91. Important genetic correlations among YW, SCW, and SCY with AFC were observed (-0.48,-0.61, and-0.71, respectively), indicating that indirect responses to selection for these traits would be expected in the age of which the heifers calve. Furthermore, BFT presented an interesting result with calving performance due to the genetic correlation (-0.69) with AFC. Post-weaning weights showed moderate genetic correlations with REA. Many of the traits considered in the genetic evaluation of this breed are genetically correlated in a favourable manner. Genetic improvement through selection is expected for production, reproduction, and carcass traits in Canchim beef cattle.
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