Table of Contents
ISRN Veterinary Science
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 470585, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/470585
Research Article

Estimation of Genetic and Phenotypic Parameters for Production Traits and Somatic Cell Count for Jersey Dairy Cattle in Zimbabwe

1Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife, Private Bag 6, Dedza, Malawi
2Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP 167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe

Received 27 May 2013; Accepted 24 June 2013

Academic Editors: M. H. Kogut and S. Whisnant

Copyright © 2013 Edward Missanjo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Genetic and phenotypic parameters for production traits and somatic cell count (SCC) for Jersey dairy cattle in Zimbabwe were estimated. A total of 10986 lactation records were obtained from Zimbabwe Livestock Identification Trust, with cows calving in the period from 1996 to 2008. An ASReml program fitting an animal model was used for the analyses. Heritability estimates for milk yield, fat yield, protein yield, fat percentage, protein percentage, and Log10SCC were 0.30, 0.32, 0.33, 0.42, 0.44, and 0.08, respectively. The corresponding repeatability estimates were 0.39, 0.38, 0.39, 0.49, 0.51, and 0.16, respectively. The genetic and phenotypic correlations between different production traits ranged from −0.86 to 0.95 and from −0.88 to 0.98, respectively. The genetic and phenotypic correlations between production traits and Log10SCC were weak almost nonsignificantly differentl from zero. The results imply that milk traits for Jersey dairy cattle in Zimbabwe are more heritable. Therefore, these traits may be preferred by breeders as selection criteria for development of effective genetic improvement programme.