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Genetic improvement of Brahman in Southern Africa Prof Norman Maiwashe (PhD, Pri Sci Nat) Agricultural Research Council, Private Bag X2, Irene 0062 University.

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Presentation on theme: "Genetic improvement of Brahman in Southern Africa Prof Norman Maiwashe (PhD, Pri Sci Nat) Agricultural Research Council, Private Bag X2, Irene 0062 University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Genetic improvement of Brahman in Southern Africa Prof Norman Maiwashe (PhD, Pri Sci Nat) Agricultural Research Council, Private Bag X2, Irene 0062 University of the Free State, PO Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300 2014 Brahman World Congress, 8 April 2014, South Africa

2 Outline 1 Background 2 Brahman in SADC 3 Performance recording 4 Genetic evaluation and selection 5 Summary

3 Fundamentals of genetic improvement Genetic improvement refers to beneficial genetic change Superiority of selected animals Genetic Change = Accuracy of selection criterion per year Genetic variation / Generation Interval EBV is the most accurate selection criterion You need performance to get EBV

4 Qualities of Brahman cattle Hardiness Adaptability Good mothering ability Heat tolerance Disease resistance Parasite resistance

5 First importation of Brahman to SADC – 1950s

6 A lot happened since the first importation of Brahman Some interesting statistics on Brahmans in the SADC

7 Brahman is one of the most popular breeds in SADC South African figures

8 Number of animals recorded annually in major SA breeds

9 Brahman in SADC

10 Few countries in SADC have formal Brahman Breeders Societies

11 Genetic Improvement Breeding Goal Selection Criteria Genetic Evaluation Selection and breeding

12 Breeding Goal of the Brahman Breeding of animals that: –are adapted, –have desired conformation, –highly fertile (both bulls and cows), –achieves acceptable growth rates and –would be preferred by commercial producers Are all Brahman breeders selecting towards this Goal?

13 Performance Recording Levels of performance recording differs among the SADC countries Accuracy of selection

14 Brahman breeders are taking performance recording seriously! Implementation of a Completeness of Performance Herd Rating System It summarizes the quantity of pedigree and performance data

15 Collaboration between ARC and SA Brahman 1.Collection of feed intake data through central test centers 2.Ultrasound scanning of animals

16 Non-exhaustive list of traits measured Birth weight 200-, 400- and 600-day weight Mature weight Days to calving Gestation length Scrotal size Docility Structural / conformation, Behavioral traits Ultrasound measures: –Rump and rib fat thickness –Eye-muscle area and –Intramuscular fat percentage Regional Genetic Evaluation conducted by BreedPlan

17 Genetic trends for growth traits ± 10kg ± 6 kg ± 8 kg

18 ±0.5 day ±0.2 cm

19 What to make of the genetic trends? Selection using many breeding values could result in undesirable response in other economically important traits –Traits are genetically correlated

20 It can get worse … 1.Birth direct 2.Birth maternal 3.Weaning direct 4.Weaning maternal 5.Total maternal 6.Yearling direct 7.600 d direct 8.Calving direct 9.Calving maternal 10.Carcass weight 11.Rib fat 12.Rump fat 13.LMA 14.Marbling score 15.Quality grade 16.% Retail yield 17.Pounds (kg) retail yield 18.Yield grade 19.US LMA 20.US rib fat 21.US % IMF 22.Fat percentage 23.Condition score 24.Gestation length 25.Days to calving 26.Calving interval 27.Stayability 28.Heifer pregnancy rate 29.Rebreeding rate 30.Calf weaned/cow exposed 31.Scrotal circumference 32.Pelvic area 33.Frame score 34.Muscle score 35.Udder score 36.Docility 37.Tick score 38.Parasite egg count 39.Mature weight 40.Maintenance energy 41.Feed efficiency 42.Drop weight 43.Type score 44.Uterine score 45.Tooth score 46.Precocity score 47. Feedlot feed consumption 48. Feedlot survival 49. Pre-wean survival 50. Serving capacity 51. Serving proportion 52. Semen volume 53. Hip height 54. Leg score 55. Length productive life 56. Doing ability 57. Grand-maternal weaning 58. Twinning rate 59. Days to 11mm BF 60. Days to 75% Choice 61. Days to carcass weight 62. Hair whorl score 63. Average daily gain 64. Weight /day of age 65. Liver weight 66. Resting heart rate 67. Pulmonary arteriole pressure 68. Brisket disease rate 69. Bravery 70. Aggression Prof Bruce Golden, USA Mission impossible

21 Breeding objectives – Rand/Dollar Value There is a need for unified or optimal selection tool –That takes antagonisms amongst traits into account Selection Index (Rand-Values) provides such a tool Rand-Value Index = Breeding Values * Economic Values

22 Recent development on Rand-Values Namibia has led the way South Africa has recently implemented a Rand-Value Index The Rand-values represent different production- marketing systems 1.Brahman Rangeland Grazing Index 2.Brahman Wean Index 3.Brahman Feedlot Index

23 Summary 1.Good progress in the Brahman is partially attributable to a good pace of adoption of science and technology amongst breeders 2.Regional integration in design and implementation of genetic improvement in the breed should be encouraged 3.Investment in research and development is essential to ensure that the breed remain competitive

24 Summary 4.Opportunity for the breed –Increase in the demand for animal protein –Communal and emerging farming community –Climate change 5.Threat to breed improvement –Inconsistent breeding goal Beautiful Animals Productive Animals

25 Thanks for Your Attention

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