:This study investigates kilogram calf weaned per Large Stock Unit (KgC/LSU) and weaning weight (K205), both as traits of the dam, as innovative breeding objectives to improve cow efficiency. The variance and co-variance parameters were estimated using univariate and multivariate repeatability models. The dataset comprised of 34,884 complete cow-calf records in respect of cow weight at weaning (DW) and pre-corrected 205-day weaning weight for parities 1, 2 and 3. Genetic correlation between K205 and DW is low (0.19), whereas that between KgC/LSU and DW is -0.83. These preliminary results indicate that selection for KgC/LSU may drastically reduce cow size. However, selection for K205 might increase cow size slightly. It is concluded that a combination of K205 and cow weight expressed in LSU’s in a selection index should be investigated as a feasible option to improve cow productivity and reduce the carbon footprint.

Motshabi C Mokolobate, Michiel M Scholtz, Frikkie WC Neser, Frans J Jordaan, Sendros D Mulugeta

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Breeding objectives, economics of selection schemes, and advances in selection theory (Posters), , 390, 2014
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