Estimation of genetic and non-genetic parameters for growth traits in two beef cattle breeds in Botswana

Raphaka, Kethusegile (2008-03)

Thesis (MScAgric)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Research conducted on beef cattle in Botswana investigated both growth and reproduction. These studies however, did not specifically determine the influence of the different environmental factors on growth in the Tswana and Composite beef cattle breeds. The establishment of a national beef herd recording and performance testing scheme requires knowledge on the appropriate adjustment methods of field data for the fixed effects such as sex of calf and age of dam. A fair comparison of birth and weaning weights between male and female calves, and calves born from young, mature and old dams will be derived from these adjustment factors. There is no information on adjustment factors for the Tswana and Composite cattle breeds in the country. Genetic parameters for growth traits in these breeds are not known and are needed for the implementation of the performance scheme in Botswana. The Composite breed resulted from a controlled crossbreeding programme using the Simmental, Brahman, Tswana, Tuli and the Bonsmara breeds. The Tswana animals are indigenous to the country and were sourced locally at the beginning of the growth evaluation trial in the two breeds. The objectives of the study were to use data collected from Tswana and Composite cattle breeds to estimate the influence of non-genetic factors on growth traits in the two breeds; to develop adjustment factors for the effects of sex of calf and age of dam; and to estimate genetic parameters (heritabilities and genetic correlations) for future genetic evaluations in both breeds. Data were collected over the period 1988 to 2006. A total of 2 257 records for the Composite breed and 5 923 records for the Tswana breed were available for analyses. Growth characteristics of interest in this study were birth weight (BW), weaning weight (WW), pre-weaning average daily gain (ADG1), 18 months weight (18MW) and post-weaning average daily gain (ADG2). Study 1 indicated that non-genetic effects of breed of calf, sex of calf, month and year of birth, previous parous state, weight of cow at parturition, age of dam, and age of calf at weaning significantly affected BW, WW, 18MW, ADG1 and ADG2 in both breeds. The Composite breed had higher BW, ADG1 and WW whereas the Tswana had higher ADG2 and 18MW. Pre-weaning growth rate increased with an increase in the age of the dam, reaching a peak in mature (5-12 years) cows and declined in cows 13 years and older. Conversely, post-weaning growth rates declined as age of dam advanced but increased in old (13 years and older) dams. Male calves were heavier than female calves for all the growth traits. Birth weight increased as calving season progressed whilst a decrease in WW was observed over the same period. Heifers gave birth to lighter calves when compared to mature multiparous dams. The Composite breed can therefore be considered for weaner production under ranch conditions while the Tswana can be reared under extensive systems due to its adaptability to the environment. Additive correction factors for effects of sex of calf and age of dam on BW and WW were studied separately for the Tswana and Composite in study 2. The least squares means procedure was used to derive age groups and the adjustment factors. The three age groups were young (4 years and below) dams, mature (5-12 years) dams and older (13 years and above) dams. Male calves were heavier than their female counterparts. The sex of calf adjustments for BW and WW were 2.75 and 8.21 kg in the Tswana, and corresponding values for the Composite 2.84 and 10.11 kg, respectively. Birth weight and WW increased as age of dam increased, reached maximum in mature dams and declined in older dams. Age of dam adjustment factors for BW in the 3, 4 and 13+ years age groups for the Tswana were 1.74, 0.96 and 1.87 kg, respectively. The corresponding values for the Composite were 2.28, 0.94 and 2.06 kg, respectively. Age of dam adjustment factors for weaning weight in the Tswana were 10.36 and 5.46 kg for age groups 3-4 and 13+ years, respectively. Adjustment factors for WW in the Composite were 13.84, 3.20 and 9.58 kg for age groups 3, 4 and 13+ years. The differences in adjustment factors obtained between the two breeds emphasize the need to compute and apply these factors within breed. Study 3 involved the estimation of genetic parameters for BW, WW, ADG1, 18MW and ADG2. Single-trait and multi-trait analyses were used in the estimation of (co)variance components by fitting an individual animal model (AM) and the animal maternal model (AMM) for the two breeds. Direct heritabilities for BW, WW, ADG1, 18MW and ADG2 in the Tswana were 0.45, 0.32, 0.37, 0.31 and 0.31, respectively from a single-trait AM analysis. Fitting the AMM resulted in direct heritabilities of 0.31, 0.20 and 0.16 for BW, WW and ADG1, respectively, while the maternal heritabilities were 0.11, 0.15 and 0.21, respectively. For the Composite the direct heritabilities for BW, WW and ADG1 were 0.58, 0.32 and 0.30, respectively with single-trait AM. Partitioning using the AMM resulted in the direct heritabilities for BW, WW and ADG1 of 0.55, 0.17 and 0.14, respectively, while corresponding maternal effects were 0.09, 0.15 and 0.15, respectively. The genetic correlations between direct and maternal effects were positive and ranged from 0.20 to 0.89. When using the multi-trait analysis and fitting the AM, the direct heritabilities for the Tswana were 0.45, 0.37, 0.34, 0.39 and 0.31 for BW, WW, ADG1, 18MW and ADG2, respectively. Genetic correlations between the growth traits ranged from 0.16 to 0.97. Direct (and maternal) heritabilities for BW, WW and ADG1 were 0.31(0.11), 0.19(0.15) and 0.14(0.17), respectively, in the Tswana. Correlations between direct heritabilities for BW, WW and ADG1 ranged from 0.45 to 0.95, while maternal effects ranged from 0.12 to 0.99. The magnitude of the heritabilities indicates an existence of the opportunity to make genetic progress through selection in both breeds. Selection based on WW seems to be the ideal procedure to bring genetic improvement in the Tswana without detrimental long term effects.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Navorsing wat op die vleisbeesrasse in Botswana gedoen is, het hoofsaaklik op beide groei en reproduksie gehandel. Hierdie studies het egter nie spesifieke gefokus op die bepaling van die invloed wat verskillende omgewingsfaktore op die groei van saamgestelde (d.i. Composite) en die Tswana vleisbeesrasse het nie. Die bepaling van ʼn nasionale vleisbees rekordhouding- en prestasietoetsskema verg kennis van die mees gepaste metode om velddata vir vaste effekte soos geslag van die kalf en ouderdom van die moeder aan te pas. Hierdie aanpassingsmetodes sal lei tot die regverdige vergelyking van geboorte- en speengewigte tussen manlike en vroulike diere, sowel as van kalwers gebore van jong, volwasse of ou moeders. Tans is daar geen inligting oor aanpassingfaktore vir die Tswana en saamgestelde vleisbeesrasse in Botswana bekend nie. Geen genetiese parameters vir groei-eienskappe vir geeneen van die rasse is beskikbaar nie en word benodig vir die implementering van die prestasie skema in Botswana. Die saamgestelde ras is die produk van ʼn beheerde kruisteeltprogram, wat onderskeidelik die Simmental, Brahman, Tswana, Tuli en die Bonsmara beesrasse ingesluit het. Die Tswana ras is inheems aan Botswana en vanaf plaaslike bronne vir die groei evaluasie studie bekom. Die doelwitte van die studie was eerstens die analisering van data wat van beide die Tswana en saamgestelde rasse ingesamel is, om die invloed van nie-genetiese faktore op die groei eienskappe te bepaal om ten einde aanpassingsfaktore vir die effek van geslag van die kalf en ouderdom van die moederdier te ontwikkel. ʼn Tweede doelwit was die bepaling van genetiese parameters (oorerflikhede en genetiese korrelasies) vir die gebruik in toekomstige genetiese evaluering van beide rasse. Data is vanaf 1988 tot 2006 ingesamel. ʼn Totaal van 2 257 waarnemings vir die saamgestelde ras en 5 923 waarnemings vir die Tswana ras is ontleed. Groei eienskappe wat in die studie ondersoek is, het geboortegewig (BW), speengewig (WW), voorspeen gemiddelde daaglikse toename (ADG1), 18-maand gewig (18MW) en naspeense gemiddelde daaglikse toename (ADG2) ingesluit. Studie een het aangedui dat nie-genetiese effekte van die ras van die kalf, die geslag van die kalf, maand en jaar van geboorte, vorige dragtigheidsstatus, koei se gewig met geboorte van kalf, ouderdom van die moederdier en die speenouderdom van die kalf het ʼn betekenisvolle invloed op BW, WW, 18MW, ADG1 en ADG2 van beide rasse gehad. Die saamgestelde ras het hoër waardes vir BW, ADG1 en WW gehad, terwyl die Tswana ras hoër waardes vir ADG2 en 18MW geopenbaar het. Voorspeense groeitempo het toegeneem met ʼn toename in die ouderdom van die moederdier, met ʼn piek in volwasse (d.i. 5-12 jaar ouderdom) moeders en ʼn afname in koeie 13 jaar en ouer. Omgekeerd het naspeen groeitempo afgeneem met ʼn toename in die ouderdom van die moederdier en weer begin toeneem vir ou (d.i. 13 jaar en ouer) koeie. Geboortegewig het toegeneem met die verloop van die kalfseisoen, terwyl ʼn afname in WW vir dieselfde periode aangeteken is. Verse het, wanneer hulle met volwasse koeie vergelyk is, het geboorte aan ligter kalwers gegee. Die saamgestelde ras kan dus oorweeg word vir die produksie van speenkalwers onder kommersiële intensiewe toestande, terwyl die Tswana ras, op grond van sy beter aanpassing by ekstensiewe omstandighede waar die moederlike invloed nie voorkom nie, vir produksie onder ekstensiewe omstandighede gebruik kan word. In studie 2 is die additiewe korreksie faktore vir die invloed van geslag van die kalf en moederouderdom op BW en WW apart vir die twee rasse bestudeer. Die geslag van die kalf x ouderdom van die moederdier interaksie was nie betekenisvol vir enige van die rasse nie. Dus kan geen aanpassing vir die ouderdom van die moeder binne geslagte vir enige van die twee rasse gemaak word nie. Die kleinste kwadraat gemiddeldes metode is gebruik om die ouderdomsgroepe en aanpassingsfaktore te bepaal. Die drie ouderdomsgroepe was jong (d.i. 4 jaar en jonger) koeie, volwasse (d.i. 5-12 jaar ouderdom) en ouer (d.i. 13 jaar en ouer) koeie. Daar is gevind dat manlike kalwers swaarders as hulle vroulike eweknieë is. Die aanpassingswaarde vir die geslag van die kalf vir BW en WW was 2.75 kg en 8.21 kg in die Tswana en 2.84 kg en 10.11kg vir die saamgestelde ras. Geboortegewig en WW het toegeneem met ʼn toename in die ouderdom van die moeder. Dit het ʼn maksimum bereik in volwasse koeie en afgeneem vir koeie ouer as 13 jaar. Die aanpassingsfaktore vir die ouderdom van die moederdier vir BW in die 3, 4 and 13+ jarige ouderdomsgroepe vir die Tswana ras was onderskeidelik 1.74 kg, 0.96 kg en 1.87 kg. Die ooreenstemmende waardes vir die saamgestelde ras was onderskeidelik 2.28 kg, 0.94 kg en 2.06 kg. Aanpassingsfaktore vir WW vir die Tswana ras was 10.36 kg en 5.46 kg vir onderskeidelik die 3-4 jaar en 13+ jaar en ouer ouderdomsgroepe. Aanpassingsfaktore vir WW in die Composite ras was 13.84 kg, 3.20 kg en 9.58 kg vir onderskeidelik die 3 jaar, 4 jaar en 13 jaar en ouer ouderdomsgroepe. Verskille in die onderskeie parameters vir die twee rasse beklemtoon die noodsaaklikheid vir die berekening en toepassing van die onderskeie aanpassingfaktore vir en binne elke ras. Studie 3 het die bepaling van die genetiese parameters vir BW, WW, ADG1, 18MW en ADG2 behels. Enkel- en multivariaat analises is gebruik vir die skatting van die (ko)variansie komponente deur ʼn direkte diermodel (AM) en ʼn dier-maternale model (AMM) vir die twee rasse te pas. Direkte oorerflikhede vir BW, WW, ADG1, 18MW en ADG2 vir die Tswana ras was onderskeidelik 0.45, 0.32, 0.37, 0.31 en 0.31, vir ʼn enkelvariaat AM analise. Die pas van ʼn AMM het direkte oorerflikhede van 0.31, 0.20 en 0.16 vir onderskeidelik BW, WW and ADG1 gegee, terwyl die maternale oorerflikhede onderskeidelik 0.11, 0.15 en 0.21 was. Vir die saamgestelde ras was die direkte oorerflikhede vir BW, WW en ADG1 onderskeidelik 0.58, 0.32 en 0.30 vir die enkelvariaat AM analise. Verdeling (partisie) van die AMM het direkte oorerflikhede vir BW, WW en ADG1 van onderskeidelik 0.55, 0.17 en 0.14 gegee, terwyl die ooreenstemmende maternale effekte onderskeidelik 0.09, 0.15 en 0.15 was. Die genetiese korrelasies tussen die drekte en maternale effekte was positief en tussen 0.20 en 0.89. Met die multivariaat analise en die pas van die AM, is direkte oorerflikhede van 0.45, 0.37, 0.34, 0.39 en 0.31 vir onderskeidelik BW, WW, ADG1, 18MW en ADG2, vir die Tswana ras bereken. Genetiese korrelasies tussen die groei eienskappe het gewissel tussen 0.16 tot 0.97. Direkte (en maternale) oorerflikhede vir BW, WW en ADG1 was onderskeidelik 0.31(0.11), 0.19(0.15) en 0.14(0.17), vir die Tswana ras. Korrelasies tussen die direkte oorerflikhede vir BW, WW en ADG1 het gewissel tussen 0.45 en 0.95, terwyl die maternale effekte tussen 0.12 en 0.99 gewissel het. Die grootte van die oorerflikhede dui op die moontlikheid van genetiese vordering wat deur seleksie in beide rasse gemaak kan word. Seleksie op grond van WW blyk die mees gepaste wyse te wees waarmee genetiese vordering binne die Tswana ras gemaak kan word, sonder enige langtermyn nadelige effekte.

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