Genetic and phenotypic parameters and annual trends for growth and fertility traits of Charolais and Hereford beef cattle breeds in Kenya

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Abstract

This study estimated genetic and phenotypic parameters and annual trends for growth and fertility traits of Charolais and Hereford cattle in Kenya. Traits considered were birth weight (BW, kg), pre-weaning average daily gain (ADG, kg/day) and weaning weight (WW, kg); calving interval (CI, days) and age at first calving (AFC, days). Direct heritability estimates for growth traits were 0.36 and 0.21; 0.25 and 0.10; 0.23 and 0.13 for BW, ADG and WW in Charolais and Hereford, respectively. Maternal heritability estimates were 0.11 and 0.01; 0.18 and 0.00; 0.17 and 0.17 for BW, ADG and WW in Charolais and Hereford, respectively. Direct-maternal genetic correlations ranged between -0.46 and 1.00; -0.51 and -1.00; -0.47 and -0.39 for BW, ADG and WW in Charolais and Hereford, respectively. Genetic correlations ranged from -0.99 to unity and -1.00 to unity for growth and fertility traits respectively. Prospects for improvement of growth and fertility traits exist.

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