ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 66 Number 4
Estimates of genetic and phenotypic parameters for body weight in Bunaji (White Fulani) cattle
Genetic and phenotypic parameters for body weight in Bunaji cattle at different ages were calculated, using data from 544 calves born at the Shika Research Station, Zaria, Nigeria, 1973-1983. Heritability estimates obtained from regression of offspring on dam were 0.33±0.16, 0.34±0.37, 0.11±0.19 and 0.16±0.27 for calf weights at birth and at 3, 6 and 12 months of age, respectively. Repeatability estimates for calf weights at birth and at 3 and 6 months of age, all considered as traits of the dam, were 0.12±0.09, -0.23±0.13, and -0.08±0.08, respectively. The correlation coefficient between birth and 3-month weight was estimated as 0.19. The correlation coefficients between weights at other ages were much higher, with estimates ranging 0.48-0.57. It is concluded that the proportion of additive genetic variance for body weight in this study was low, and genetic response to selection in these herds might therefore also be low.
Keywords: Cattle; Animal breeding; Body weight; Heritability