Date of this Version
Weight (CW, n = 61,798), weight adjusted for condition score (WA), hip height (CH, n = 56,494), and condition score (CS, n = 61,434) of cows (2 through 8 yr of age) produced by crosses of 22 sire breeds with Angus and Hereford dams in the first four cycles of the Germplasm Evaluation (GPE) Program at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center were used to estimate genetic parameters with REML. The model included sire breed, dam breed, age in years, season of measurement (1 to 4) and their interactions, and year of birth and pregnancy-lactation code (PL) as fixed effects for CW and CS. The model for CH excluded PL. Random effects were additive genetic and permanent environmental effects. Univariate analyses of all data, by season and by year of age, bivariate analyses between pairs of seasons and ages (2 to 6), and between traits were done. Estimates of heritability and repeatability over all ages were 0.49, 0.54, 0.68, and 0.16, and 0.65, 0.67, 0.75, and 0.30 for CW, WA, CH, and CS, respectively. Corresponding estimates for each age and season were similar for all traits and cycles. Estimates of genetic and permanent environmental correlations were close to unity for all pairs of seasons and traits. Genetic correlations were greater than 0.92 for all pairs of ages for CW, WA, and CH, and greater than 0.67 for CS. Genetic correlations were 0.80, 0.86, 0.43, and −0.04 for CW-CH, WA-CH, CW-CS, and CH-CS, respectively. Results suggest that repeatability models can be used to model weights and heights in this population.