PHENOTYPIC TREND AND ESTIMATES OF GENETIC PARAMETERS FOR GROWTH TRAITS OF PHILIPPINE SWAMP BUFFALOES IN A NUCLEUS HERD, CAGAYAN PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES

Ester B. Flores

Abstract


 

 The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) at Piat, Cagayan, Philippines established a breeding program to improve growth rates of Philippine swamp buffaloes. A total of 1,322 growth records from 220 animals taken at birth, 6, 9, 12 and 18 mos from 2002 to 2014 were analyzed in multi-trait genetic animal models that included additive direct effects only or both additive direct and maternal effects using ASReml 3.0 program to estimate variance components. Growth rates improved across the years but the response was most evident at 12 and 18 months as breeder bulls were selected based on weight at these two age categories. Improvement at weaning and pre-weaning weights (<12 mos.) did not follow the same trend as weights at 12 and 18 mos. This may be due to the fact that while direct heritability was moderate for weight at 18 mos. at 0.19, it was low for pre-weaning and weaning weights. Maternal heritability was higher for these traits at 0.21 for weight at 9 mos thus, selection for replacement breeders should include weights at 9 and 6 mos especially for the heifers. When the data set has increased, animals should be ranked and selected based on direct and maternal breeding values for growth traits.


Keywords


average daily gain, genetic correlations, growth traits, heritability, swamp buffalo

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