Genetic and phenotypic aspects of early reproductive performance in Raeini Cashmere goats
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This study used pedigree information and data collected from 1979 to 2012 at the Raeini Cashmere goat breeding station, located in Baft City in Kerman Province in southeastern Iran. Genetic and phenotypic parameters for early reproductive traits of breeding does, including total numbers of kids born at first kidding (LSB1), total numbers of kids weaned at first kidding (LSW1), total birth weight of all kids born at first kidding (LWB1), total weaning weight of all kids weaned at first kidding (LWW1), and age at first kidding (AFK), were estimated using a Bayesian approach via Gibbs sampling. Posterior means for heritability estimates of LSB1, LSW1, LWB1, LWW1, and AFK were statistically significant, with values of 0.12, 0.23, 0.17, 0.15, and 0.46, respectively. Low-to-moderate additive genetic variation was present for the studied reproductive traits. Estimated genetic correlations among LSB1, LSW1, LWB1, and LWW1 were statistically significant and ranged from 0.12 between LWB1 and LWW1 to 0.72 between LSB1 and LSW1. Corresponding phenotypic correlation estimates were also statistically significant and ranged from 0.04 between LWB1 and LWW1 to 0.55 between LSB1 and LSW1. Posterior means of genetic and phenotypic correlations between AFK and other studied traits were statistically significant only for LSB1 and LWB1. For LSB1, LSW1, LWB1, and LWW1, we conclude that genetic and phenotypic improvement in any of these traits in Raeini Cashmere does would favorably influence all of the other traits. However, does that first kidded at younger ages have smaller litters at birth and lower litter birth weights at their first parity.
KeywordsLitter size Litter weight First kidding Raeini Cashmere doe
The authors wish to thank all the staff in the Raeini Cashmere goat breeding station who were involved in data collection and maintaining the flock.
Compliance with ethical standards
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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