Heritability of fertility traits of Indubrazil cows.
Keywords:heritability, fertility in cows, Zebu.
The objective of this study was to estimate variance components and genetic parameters for age at first service (AFS), age at first calving (AFC), gestation length (GL), days open (DO), calving interval (CI), services per conception (SPC) and cow weight at calving (CW) of Indubrazil cows (N=264) born from 1974 to 2004. The study was carried out at the Playa Vicente research station (Veracruz, México) from Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP). The cows were bred twice a year, in spring and autumn. The breeding seasons initiated on April 1 and October 1, and ended on June 30 and November 30, respectively. Age at first service, AFC, GL, DO, CI and SPC were analyzed with an animal model that included the additive genetic effect, while CW was analyzed with a repeatability animal model that included the additive genetic effect and the permanent environmental effect of the cow. The analyses were carried out with the MTDFREML program. The estimates of heritability were: 0.31 ± 0.152, 0.39 ± 0.196, 0.08 ± 0.033, 0.03 ± 0.028, 0.13 ± 0.056, 0.03 ± 0.027 and 0.49 ± 0.098 for AFS, AFC, GL, DO, CI, SPC and CW, respectively. The permanent environmental effect of the cow explained 2% of the total phenotypic variance of CW, hence the estimate of repeatability for this trait was 0.51. Age at first service, AFC, CI and CW showed substantial genetic variation; therefore, they could be considered in a selection program.
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