Heritability of juniper consumption in goats Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Data from goats (n = 505), collected over a 4-yr period, were used to estimate the heritability of juniper consumption. Juniper consumption was determined by near-infrared spectroscopy on fecal samples (n = 1,080) collected from female Boer-cross goats grazing pastures with a variety of plants, including juniper. The animals with records were progeny of 72 sires. Individual goats had from 1 to 4 observations over a 4-yr period. Predicted juniper consumption for individual observations ranged from -5 to +62% of the diet. Data were analyzed with a mixed model that included management group as a fixed effect, BW as a covariate, and permanent environment, animal, and residual as random effects. Management group was a significant source of variation. Least squares means of juniper consumption, as a percentage of the total intake, for management groups varied from 19 to 47%. Heritability of juniper consumption was 13%. Repeatability of juniper consumption was 31%. These results suggest that progress to selection for goats that will consume greater amounts of juniper is obtainable, but is expected to be slow.

author list (cited authors)

  • Waldron, D. F., Taylor, C. A., Walker, J. W., Campbell, E. S., Lupton, C. J., Willingham, T. D., & Landau, S. Y.

citation count

  • 11

publication date

  • February 2009