South African Journal of Animal Science
On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589
In South Africa, the Dairy Swiss breed, which originated in Switzerland, consists of 27 breeders and 1135 breeding cows. Pedigree information on the breed was analysed to determine its effective population size (Ne) and rate of inbreeding. The rate of inbreeding was 0.08% per year and 0.38% per generation. It was estimated that in 2008, over 90% of the animals were inbred. This is within the acceptable recommendation for an effective population size of 50 - 100, with an Ne value of 89. However, the high percentage of inbred animals may start to have a detrimental impact on the effective population size and breeders need to exercise caution in their breeding decisions.
Keywords : Effective population size; genetic diversity; inbreeding coefficient.