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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Quantitative Genetics

Fertility traits in spring-calving Aberdeen Angus cattle. 1. Model development and genetic parameters1


This article in

  1. Vol. 85 No. 11, p. 2854-2860
    Received: Aug 10, 2006
    Accepted: Apr 27, 2007
    Published: December 8, 2014

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. J. I. Urioste*2,
  2. I. Misztal and
  3. J. K. Bertrand
  1. Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de la República, 12900 Montevideo, Uruguay;
    Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-2771


Calving records (n = 6,763) obtained from first, second, and third parities of 3,442 spring-calving, Uruguayan Aberdeen Angus cows were used to estimate heritabilities and genetic correlations for the linear trait calving day (CD) and the binary trait calving success (CS), using models that considered CD and CS at 3 calving opportunities as separate traits. Three approaches were defined to handle the CD observations on animals that failed to calve: 1) the cows were assigned a penalty value of 21 d beyond the last observed CD record within contemporary group (PEN); 2) the censored CD values were randomly obtained from a truncated normal distribution (CEN); and 3) the CD records were treated as missing, and the parameters were estimated in a joint threshold-linear analysis including CS traits (TLMISS). The models included the effects of contemporary group (herd × year of calving × mating management), age at calving (3 levels), physiological status at mating (nonlactating or lactating), animal additive genetic effects, and residual. Estimates of heritability for CD traits in the PEN and CEN data sets ranged from 0.20 to 0.31, with greater values in the first calving opportunity. Genetic correlations were positive and medium to high in magnitude, 0.57 to 0.59 in the PEN data set and 0.38 to 0.91 in the CEN data set. In the TLMISS data set, heritabilities ranged from 0.19 to 0.23 for CD and 0.37 to 0.42 for CS. Genetic correlations between CD traits varied between 0.82 and 0.88; between CS traits, genetic correlations varied between 0.56 and 0.80. Negative (genetically favorable), medium to high genetic correlations (−0.54 to −0.91) were estimated between CD and CS traits, suggesting that CD could be used as an indicator trait for CS. Data recording must improve in quality for practical applications in genetic evaluation for fertility traits.

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