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Abstract

Genetic parameters of dairy traits in the Alpine and Saanen goat breeds.

Abstract

Genetic parameters for milk, fat and protein yields, and fat and protein contents, were estimated for French Alpine and Saanen goats using an animal model. Edited data on first lactations of 33 431 French Alpine and 20 700 Saanen goats that kidded in 1996 and 1997 was obtained from the French national milk recording database. Heritability values ranged from 0.32 to 0.40 for yields and from 0.50 to 0.60 for contents. A low negative genetic correlation between milk yield and fat content (about -0.17) and a high genetic association between fat yields and fat contents (up to +0.56) was observed. Although the differences between genetic parameters of both breeds were rather low, it is concluded that French Alpine has a higher potential for genetic progress in protein content and protein yield, and that Saanen has higher potential for genetic progress in milk yield and fat content.