Carcase trait evaluations

Project details
The overall aim of this feasibility project was to assimilate, cleanse, salvage, validate and characterise abattoir and BCMS data then report descriptive statistics for the resulting dataset. The subsequent use of these data (in another follow on project) is expected to be for genetic evaluations.

Genetic analyses were performed on a subset of the data for animals with a Charolais sire, which consisted of 17,125 records after editing. Heritability estimates for net carcass weight, conformation and fat class were 0.31, 0.24, and 0.14. Similar results were seen in a within Limousin breed parameter estimation analysis. These results provide strong indication of the existence of genetic variation in the studied traits. This, in turn, suggests that improving carcass quality traits through genetic selection is entirely possible, thereby warranting more detailed

investigation of their genetic background, particularly their relationship with other traits of importance and within, between and across breeds.

The results of this feasibility study indicate that genetic analysis for carcass traits is realistic, particularly for breeds which make up a major part of the carcass population and have sufficient information on the sire. Encouraging the recording of sire identity by farmers in BCMS would further improve the usefulness of future data.

Completion Date
August 2012

Lead Contractor
Scottish Agricultural College

Funders
EBLEX
HCC

Related products and resources
The Project summary is available to download.
Full report: Feasibility of using abattoir generated data and BCMS records for carcass trait evaluations (Carcass Trait Evaluations)

For further information please contact Marco.Winters@dairyco.ahdb.org.uk or call 07980 545469