Author(s): N. Assan1and A. Masache2
Variance components for additive direct, additive maternal, permanent environmental effects, the covariance between additive direct and maternal effects were estimated by maximum likelihood, fitting six animal models from 2341 carcass length pedigree records of indigenous Matebele goats in Zimbabwe. All investigated models included a random direct genetic effect but different combinations of random 0.49 when the maternal heritability when the maternal genetic effects were included in the model, while h2estimates were 0.04 and 0.32 when the maternal effects were excluded. The maternal heritability (h2m) was 0.00 when only maternal genetic effects were included in the model and were 0.32 to 0.37 when the permanent environmental effect of the dam was added. The permanent environmental effect of the dam was negligible. The negative covariance between direct and maternal genetic effects of carcass length (σ2am) were observed. Using an Spstatistic comparison, Model 2 which had additive direct and additive maternal only, excluding the covariance of direct and maternal genetic effects proved to the ‘best’ among the six models for carcass length evaluation.