Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Genetic, phenotypic and environmental correlations between traits of beef cattle.

Abstract

Paternal half-sib estimates were calculated for the genetic, phenotypic and environmental correlations between birth weight, calving difficulty, calf losses and weaning weight, postweaning gain, age at puberty and rates of oestrus and pregnancy in heifers, and the daily gain, final weight, slaughter and carcass traits of steers. Data on Hereford and American Angus crossbred cattle from the USA (400-500 animals for each genotype) were analysed using a least-squares and Maximum Likelihood computer program. In general, the genetic correlations were large, the environmental ones low or negative and the phenotypic ones intermediate. The highest genetic correlations were found between birth weight and calving difficulty (0.57), and calving difficulty and calf losses to weaning (0.66). No genetic correlation was found between 400-day weight and age at puberty of heifers (0.05), but there was a negative environmental correlation (-0.31). For steers, high genetic correlations were found between daily gain and body and carcass weight parameters (0.58-0.97), and carcass weight was most highly correlated with meat weight (0.81), bone weight (0.72) and fat weight (0.51).