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Genetic parameters of purebred and crossbred Milking Criollos in tropical Mexico

J. de Alba, B. W. Kennedy
Published: 1 April 1994

Abstract: Records on total of 1746 calvings of principally Milking Criollos and their crosses were collected between 1972 and 1990 at the experiment station of the Mexican Association of Animal Production on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Traits of interest were 305-day milk yield, days in lactation, number of services per lactation (raised to power 1/2), age at first calving and lifetime milk yield. Data were analysed by restricted maximum likelihood (REML) under an individual animal model based on 584 animals of which 146 were female ancestors and 35 were male ancestors. Heritabilities of 305-day milk and age at first calving were 0·17 and 0·07, respectively, but heritabilities of other traits were close to zero. Genetic trend in the Milking Criollos for 305-day milk was small and not significant (0·76 (s.e. 2·38) kg/year). Of crosses with Criollo sires, those involving Holstein and Canadienne breeding had highest 305-day and lifetime milk yields and those involving Brown Swiss and native Mexican (mostly Oaxaca) had lowest yields. Jersey crosses were intermediate for 305-day yield. The F1 Criollo × Jersey cross had highest lifetime yield, but backcrosses involving Jersey breeding were poor for lifetime milk. Additive breed effects for Jersey and Canadienne, relative to Milking Criollo, were 88 (s.e. 91) and 227 (s.e. 74) kg 305-day milk, respectively. Heterosis was 144 (s.e. 55) kg (11·6%) for 305-day milk, 16–4 (s.e. 9·6) (5·0%) for days in milk, −0·107 (s.e. 0–042) (7·7%) for number of services per lactation raised to power 1/2, −25·6 (s.e. 41·4) days (2•3%) for age at first calving and 1789 (s.e. 664) kg (60·0%) for lifetime milk. A plan was designed to develop a nucleus breeding scheme utilizing multiple ovulation and embryo transfer technology (MOET) for the genetic improvement of the Milking Criollo breed in Mexico.
Keywords: crossbreeding / dairy cattle / genetic trend / heritability / tropical America.

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