Indigenous Thai Beef Cattle Breeding Scheme Incorporating Indirect Measures of Adaptation: Sensitivity to Changes in Heritabilities of and Genetic Correlations between Adaptation Traits

  • Kahi, A.K. (Department of Animal Science, Egerton University) ;
  • Graser, H.U. (Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), University of New England)
  • Received : 2003.05.21
  • Accepted : 2004.04.19
  • Published : 2004.08.01


A model Indigenous Thai beef cattle breeding structure consisting of nucleus, multiplier and commercial units was used to evaluate the effect of changes in heritabilities of and genetic correlations between adaptation traits on genetic gain and profitability. A breeding objective that incorporated adaptation was considered. Two scenarios for improving both the production and the adaptation of animals where also compared in terms of their genetic and economic efficiency. A base scenario was modelled where selection is for production traits and adaptation is assumed to be under the forces of natural selection. The second scenario (+Adaptation) included all the information available for base scenario with the addition of indirect measures of adaptation. These measures included tick count (TICK), faecal egg count (FEC) and rectal temperature (RECT). Therefore, the main difference between these scenarios was seen in the records available for use as selection criteria and hence the level of investments. Additional genetic gain and profitability was generated through incorporating indirect measures of adaptation as criteria measured in the breeding program. Unsurprisingly, the results were sensitive to the changes in heritabilities and genetic correlations between adaptation traits. However, there were more changes in the genetic gain and profitability of the breeding program when the genetic correlations of adaptation and its indirect measures were varied than when the correlations between these measures were. The changes in the magnitudes of the genetic gain and profit per cow stresses the importance of using reliable estimates of these traits in any breeding program.


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