Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

April 1999


Published in J. Anim. Sci. 1999. 77:2641–2650.


Estimates of genetic parameters resulting from various analytical models for birth weight (BWT, n = 4,155), 205-d weight (WWT, n = 3,884), and 365-d weight (YWT, n = 3,476) were compared. Data consisted of records for Line 1 Hereford cattle selected for postweaning growth from 1934 to 1989 at ARSUSDA, Miles City, MT. Twelve models were compared. Model 1 included fixed effects of year, sex, age of dam; covariates for birth day and inbreeding coefficients of animal and of dam; and random animal genetic and residual effects. Model 2 was the same as Model 1 but ignored inbreeding coefficients. Model 3 was the same as Model 1 and included random maternal genetic effects with covariance between direct and maternal genetic effects, and maternal permanent environmental effects. Model 4 was the same as Model 3 but ignored inbreeding. Model 5 was the same as Model 1 but with a random sire effect instead of animal genetic effect. Model 6 was the same as Model 5 but ignored inbreeding. Model 7 was a sire model that considered relationships among males. Model 8 was a sire model, assuming sires to be unrelated, but with dam effects as uncorrelated random effects to account for maternal effects. Model 9 was a sire and dam model but with relationships to account for direct and maternal genetic effects; dams also were included as uncorrelated random effects to account for maternal permanent environmental effects. Model 10 was a sire model with maternal grandsire and dam effects all as uncorrelated random effects. Model 11 was a sire and maternal grandsire model, with dams as uncorrelated random effects but with sires and maternal grandsires assumed to be related using male relationships. Model 12 was the same as Model 11 but with all pedigree relationships from the full animal model for sires and maternal grandsires. Rankings on predictions of breeding values were the same regardless of whether inbreeding coefficients for animal and dam were included in the models. Heritability estimates were similar regardless of whether inbreeding effects were in the model. Models 3 and 9 best fit the data for estimation of variances and covariances for direct, maternal genetic, and permanent environmental effects. Other models resulted in changes in ranking for predicted breeding values and for estimates of direct and maternal heritability. Heritability estimates of direct effects were smallest with sire and sire-maternal grandsire models.