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Selection Responses for Milk, Fat and Protein Yields in Zimbabwean Holstein Cattle

  • Mandizha, S. ;
  • Makuza, S.M. ;
  • Mhlanga, F.N.
  • Received : 1999.07.19
  • Accepted : 1999.11.16
  • Published : 2000.07.01

Abstract

One way of evaluating the effectiveness of a dairy breeding program is to measure response to selection. This may be direct or indirect. The objectives of this study were to estimate expected progress for direct selection on milk, fat and protein yields; to estimate the expected correlated responses on indirect selection for milk, fat and protein yields in Zimbabwean Holstein cattle and to establish the effect of selection intensity on responses. The Animal Model contained fixed effects of herd, year of calving, calving month, dry period, milking frequency and additive effects pertaining to cows, sires and dams. AIREML software package was used to analyse the data. The genetic and phenotypic parameters obtained in this study were used to compute direct and correlated responses to selection. Because of the higher heritabilities in first parity, genetic progress was found to be greater when selection was practised on first parity cows as compared to later lactations. It is therefore recommended that older cows in the herd be replaced with improved heifers so as to enhance genetic progress.

Keywords

Response;Genetic Progress;Selection Intensity