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Short-term trends of performance test traits of young meat bucks in a central performance test

T.A. Gipson, L. Dawson, and T. Sahlu

Journal of Animal Science 85(Supplement 1):251-252. 2007

Increasingly meat goat producers are basing selection decisions upon performance traits, which impact the profitability of the enterprise, and are relying upon central performance tests to objectively select breeding males. Since 1999, the Langston University central performance test (LUCPT) has evaluated 398 bucks representing 70 breeders and 8 states. Two breeds have been tested, Boer and Kiko, the former accounting for 95% of the bucks enrolled. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the temporal trends of the performance traits over the last 8 years (1999 to 2006) of bucks enrolled in the LUCPT. Traits evaluated were ADG, feed:gain ratio (FE), loin-eye area (LEA), and residual feed intake (RFI). An analysis of covariance was conducted with performance traits as the dependent variables, breed as the independent variable, and linear and quadratic effects of year as covariates. Over the 8 years, ADG increased linearly (yearly rate =7.3 (g/d)/yr 1.25); FE decreased linearly (yearly rate = -0.08/yr 0.029); LEA increased quadratically (linear yearly rate = 1.15 cm2/yr 0.223; quadratic yearly rate = -0.10 (cm2)yr2 0.024); and RFI increased quadratically (linear yearly rate = 0.039 (g/d)/yr 0.0162; quadratic yearly rate = -0.005 (g/d)/yr2 0.0017). The two latter traits increased then decreased overtime so that the traits in 2006 were virtually the same as in 1999. Breed has affected (P < 0.05) all performance traits: ADG averaged 277 2.9 for Boer and 206 13.8 g/d, for Kiko; FE averaged 6.8 0.07 for Boer and 7.6 0.32 for Kiko; LEA averaged 11.4 0.11 for Boer and 9.2 0.53 cm2 for Kiko; and RFI averaged -0.03 0.008 for Boer and 0.04 0.038 g/d for Kiko. Phenotypically, FE was positively correlated (P < 0.05) with LEA (r = 0.18) and with RFI (r = 0.41) but negatively correlated with ADG (r = -0.49). ADG was positively correlated (P < 0.05) with LEA (r = 0.24). Generally, ADG increased and FE decreased in desirable directions indicating that meat goat producers may be basing selection upon economically important traits, especially ADG which is easily measured on-test and on-farm. The change in FE may not be due to direct selection but to indirect selection. LEA and RFI remained unchanged, indicating that producers may not be considering these traits in their selection decisions because they do not consider them important or they do not understand them.


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