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Genetic and economic evaluation of Japanese Black (Wagyu) cattle breeding schemes



Genetic and economic evaluation of Japanese Black (Wagyu) cattle breeding schemes



Journal of Animal Science 83(9): 2021-2032



Deterministic simulation was used to evaluate 10 breeding schemes for genetic gain and profitability and in the context of maximizing returns from investment in Japanese Black cattle breeding. A breeding objective that integrated the cow-calf and feedlot segments was considered. Ten breeding schemes that differed in the records available for use as selection criteria were defined. The schemes ranged from one that used carcass traits currently available to Japanese Black cattle breeders (Scheme 1) to one that also included linear measurements and male and female reproduction traits (Scheme 10). The latter scheme represented the highest level of performance recording. In all breeding schemes, sires were chosen from the proportion selected during the first selection stage (performance testing), modeling a two-stage selection process. The effect on genetic gain and profitability of varying test capacity and number of progeny per sire and of ultrasound scanning of live animals was examined for all breeding schemes. Breeding schemes that selected young bulls during performance testing based on additional individual traits and information on carcass traits from their relatives generated additional genetic gain and profitability. Increasing test capacity resulted in an increase in genetic gain in all schemes. Profitability was optimal in Scheme 2 (a scheme similar to Scheme 1, but selection of young bulls also was based on information on carcass traits from their relatives) to 10 when 900 to 1,000 places were available for performance testing. Similarly, as the number of progeny used in the selection of sires increased, genetic gain first increased sharply and then gradually in all schemes. Profit was optimal across all breeding schemes when sires were selected based on information from 150 to 200 progeny. Additional genetic gain and profitability were generated in each breeding scheme with ultrasound scanning of live animals for carcass traits. Ultrasound scanning of live animals was more important than the addition of any other traits in the selection criteria. These results may be used to provide guidance to Japanese Black cattle breeders.

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Accession: 004173033

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PMID: 16100056


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