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Heritabilities and genetic correlations for postweaning growth and feed intake of beef bulls and steers



Heritabilities and genetic correlations for postweaning growth and feed intake of beef bulls and steers



Journal of Animal Science 69(8): 3183-3189



Data from studies conducted at Miles City, MT and Lethbridge, AB were pooled to evaluate genetic and environmental variation in feed intake (MEI), growth rate (ADG), MEI-to-gain ratio (M/G), final weight (FWT), and fat thickness (FAT). A total of 124 sires with an average of 4.25 progeny each were represented in the data. Restricted maximum likelihood methods were used to estimate within and between paternal half-sib estimates of variance and covariance. Heritabilities and genetic, phenotypic, and environmental correlations with inference to populations at 365 d of age were calculated from the estimates. Heritabilities were as follows: ADG, .38 +/- .16; MEI, .45 +/- .17; M/G, .26 +/- .15; FWT .25 +/- .15; and FAT .52 +/- .17. The genetic correlation of MEI with ADG was large (.73 +/- .13) and antagonistic to genetic improvement of M/G through selection for ADG. Efficient genetic improvement in M/G was found to depend on using either MEI or an indicator of composition of gain as selection criteria in addition to ADG. Selection to improve M/G using an index that included FWT and FAT, in addition to MEI and ADG, resulted in greater predicted response in ADG and lesser predicted response in MEI than the index of ADG and MEI alone.

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Accession: 002124624

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PMID: 1894553



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