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Dairy cattle industry and genetic improvement programs in Thailand

Pangmao, Santi, Thomson, Peter C., Khatkar, Mehar S.
Animal production science 2017 v.57 no.7 pp. 1242-1247
Holstein, breeding value, calving, cattle industry, cows, dairy cattle, dairy farming, genetic correlation, genetic improvement, genetic trend, herds, heritability, milk yield, models, pedigree, progeny, records, sires, zebu, Thailand
The objective of the present study was to estimate genetic parameters and evaluate the genetic trends of 100-day milk yield (MY), fat percentage (FP) and protein percentage (PP) in three government dairy cattle farms in Thailand, located in the north and north-east of the country. The data consisted of records from 1745 first-lactation cows that calved between 1986 and 2015, which were the progeny of 287 sires and 1237 dams. Most of the animals were crossbred Holstein-Friesian with native or zebu animals. The total number of animals in the pedigree was 4753. Univariate and bivariate linear mixed models were used to estimate genetic parameters and breeding values by using ASReml-R. The fixed effects in the model were herd, year of calving, season of calving, breed group and the interaction between year and season of calving, and the random effects were animal and residual. All fixed effects had significant effects on the three traits, except breed group. The estimated heritabilities for MY, FP and PP were 0.242 ± 0.061, 0.066 ± 0.048 and 0.329 ± 0.072 respectively. The genetic correlation for MY and FP, MY and PP, and FP and PP were 0.219 ± 0.352, –0.271 ± 0.177 and 0.452 ± 0.255 respectively. The genetic trends based on estimated breeding values over year of birth did not show consistent improvement in all three traits, although there was a slight declining trend in MY in the later years.