South African Journal of Animal Science
Print version ISSN 0375-1589
THIRUVENKADAN, A.K.; PANNEERSELVAM, S. and RAJENDRAN, R.. Non-genetic and genetic factors influencing growth performance in Murrah Buffalos. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.5, pp. 102-106. ISSN 0375-1589.
Live weight data from 590 Murrah buffalo calves (140 male and 450 female calves) maintained at the Central Cattle Breeding Farm, Alamadhi, Tamil Nadu, India, born in the period between 1990 and 2004 were used for this study. Data were analysed using least-squares procedures. The adjusted birth weights of male and female calves were 33.0 ± 0.49 and 31.9 ± 0.27 kg, respectively, with an overall value of 32.4 ± 0.30 kg. The mean body weight at three, six, nine and 12 months of age pooled over periods, season and sex were 62.0 ± 0.65, 87.9 ± 0.95, 112.4 ± 1.23 and 134.16 ± 1.41 kg, respectively. Period of calving influenced the weight significantly at birth, three and six months of ages only. The effect of dam parity on body weight at different ages was highly significant. The calves born during the dam's second parity were generally heavier than those born in other parities. Generally, males had a higher body weight than females at all age groups. All the growth traits showed medium heritability (direct) estimates, which ranged between 0.12 ± 0.01 and 0.22 ± 0.16. The genetic correlations were all medium to high and positive. The genetic parameter estimates indicated that the six months weight can be used as a selection tool for genetic improvement of growth traits considering its high heritability and positive genetic correlations with succeeding growth traits.
Keywords : Body weight; heritability; genetic correlations.