Estimation of (co)variance components, genetic parameters, and genetic trends of growth traits in community-based breeding programs of Bonga sheep
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Ebadu Areb, Tesfaye Getachew, M. A. Kirmani, Zelalem Abate, Aynalem Haile. (1/5/2021). Estimation of (co)variance components, genetic parameters, and genetic trends of growth traits in community-based breeding programs of Bonga sheep. animal, 15 (5).
Community-based sheep breeding programs (CBBPs) have been adopted strategically to improve Bonga sheep, the most popular sheep breed in Ethiopia. The present study was undertaken to estimate genetic parameters and genetic trends for growth traits and inbreeding levels in each Bonga sheep CBBP. Data pertaining to growth traits, spanning a period of seven years (2012–2017), were collected from 14 Bonga sheep CBBPs. Data were analyzed using the General Linear Model procedure of SAS to study the performance of the breed over the years. The genetic parameters were estimated by univariate and mul tivariate animal model using restricted maximum likelihood method of WOMBAT software. The genetic trends were estimated by the regression of the average breeding values of the animals on the year of birth. The overall least square means ± SE of BW (kg) were 3.10 ± 0.010, 16.1 ± 0.07, 24.7 ± 0.20, 30.4 ± 0.40 and 34.0 ± 0.84 for birth weight (BWT), weaning weight (WWT), six-month weight (SMWT), nine-month weight (NMWT) and yearling weight (YWT), respectively. Direct heritability esti mates from selected models were 0.56 ± 0.030, 0.36 ± 0.030, 0.22 ± 0.040, 0.17 ± 0.070 and 0.13 ± 0.150 for BWT, WWT, SMWT, NMWT and YWT, respectively. Six-month weight was the selection trait and pre sented positive trends for 10 CBBPs, and negative trends for four CBBPs. Moderate to high heritability estimates and positive genetic trends indicated scope for further improvement of BW. Additionally, the positive and high correlation between BW traits indicated that selection for just one trait would also improve the other traits through correlated responses
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