Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science
June 2012 Vol. 1(6), pp. 156-162
Copyright © 2012 Global Advanced Research Journals

 

Full Length Research Paper

Phenotypic and genetic parameter estimates for grasscutter production traits. 2.Genetic and phenotypic correlations

S.Y. Annor1,2,4#, B.K. Ahunu2, G.S. Aboagye2, K. Boa-Amponsem3 and J.P. Cassady4.

1Department of Animal Science Education, College of Agriculture Education, University of Education, Winneba, P.O. Box 40, Mampong-Ashanti, Ghana.

2Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana, P.O. Box LG 571, Legon, Accra, Ghana.

3Animal Research Institute, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, P.O. Box AH 20, Achimota, Accra, Ghana.

4Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7621/232B Polk Hall, Raleigh NC 27695-7621, North Carolina, USA

Corresponding Author E-mail: sayannor@yahoo.com

Accepted 25 June, 2012

Abstract

The objective of this work was to estimate genetic and phenotypic correlations among traits of the grasscutter. The study was conducted at the grasscutter section of the Department of Animal Science Education, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, from 2005 to 2010. Data consisted of records of 502 kids born by 136 does and 40 sires over a period of 5 years. Data were analyzed by mixed model methodology using a full animal model and all known genetic relationships, in multiple trait analysis, using MTDFREML programme. Genetic correlations among size traits (body weight and growth rate) were medium to high (0.32 to 0.87), whilst their phenotypic correlations ranged from low to high (0.01 to 0.99).  Antagonistic genetic relationship existed between size and reproductive traits. Phenotypic relationships between size and reproductive traits, survival, feed intake and feed efficiency were not important. Genetic correlations between size traits and survival ranged from no relationship (r = 0.00) to high (r = 0.80). Whilst genetic relationship between feed intake and size traits was positive, that between size traits and feed efficiency was negative. Litter size had little or no genetic relationship with pre-weaning survival but intermediate positive genetic relationship with post-weaning survival. Litter size had little phenotypic relationship with survival but pre-weaning survival had a high positive phenotypic relationship with litter size at weaning. In conclusion, findings in this study were in general agreement of what pertains to the grasscutter and other farm livestock species.

Keywords: Thryonomys swinderianus, cane rat, rodent, reproduction, growth, survival, feed intake, feed efficiency, domestication, phenotypic and genetic parameters.


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