Revista mexicana de ciencias pecuarias
Print version ISSN 2007-1124
RAMIREZ-VALVERDE, Rodolfo et al. Environmental effects and genetic parameters on growth traits for a herd of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus). Rev. mex. de cienc. pecuarias [online]. 2011, vol.2, n.3, pp. 319-330. ISSN 2007-1124.
The objective was to estimate environmental effects and genetic parameters on growth traits in a flock of farmed red deer of the central Mexican highland. Animals were raised on an intensive rotational grazing system of grass-legume mixed temperate pastures. Evaluated traits were birth (BW), weaning adjusted to 100 d (WW) and yearling (YW) weights. Analyses were performed using the MTDFREML program. Final univariate animal models considered the fixed effect of sex-year, and calving age as a covariate for BW and WW, and the random direct (BW, WW and YW) and maternal (WW) genetic effects. Means and standard deviations for BW, WW and YW were 8.7±1.2, 42.4±5.6 and 80.8±13.3 kg. Males were higher (P<0.05) than those of females (4.6, 9.9 and 21.9 %, for BW, WW and YW). There were differences between contemporary groups for all traits (P<0.05). The linear effect of hind calving age was important (P<0.05) for both BW and WW. Estimates of direct heritability were 0.00±0.08, 0.41 ±0.33 and 0.17±0.15 for BW, WW and YW. Maternal heritability of WW was 0.22±0.16. Based on the estimated genetic additive variability of WW and YW in this herd, the results suggest the possibility for genetic improvement of those traits through selection; however, these results are not definitive given the limited quantity and quality of the used information.
Keywords : Cervus elaphus; Animal model; Heritability.