Date of this Version
A selection experiment was established in 1981 to increase twinning rate in cattle. Results reported are through 1993 calf crops. Estimates of genetic parameters for a two-trait twinning and ovulation rate model with genetic groups were as follows: heritabilities of .03 for twinning and .07 for ovulation rates with a genetic correlation of nearly 1.00 and fractional permanent environmental variances of .06 for twinning and .05 for ovulation rate. Corresponding estimates when group effects were ignored were as follows: heritabilities of .08 and .08 and fractional permanent environmental variances of .02 and .04 for twinning and ovulation rates, respectively. Twinning rate (percentage) in the project at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center has increased in all cows born in the project by year of calving from 3.4% in 1982 to 28.5% in 1993, a phenotypic increase of 25.1%. The estimated genetic change in twinning of cows by year of calving using the groups model has been 15.2%. The increase in average genetic value by year of birth has been 18.2% in twinning and 15.0% in ovulation rate from 1980 through 1991. Solutions for seven selected groups of foundation animals ranged from 6.0 to 33.1% and influenced genetic trend.