EDUCATION & RESEARCH GRANTS
The Foundation promotes educational activities and research opportunities by providing grants for the development and production of materials, activities, and programs that benefit the dairy goat industry.
The Foundation’s Trustees review requests for funding on a rolling basis.
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The Foundation funded the open access February 2014 publication Estimation of Genetic Parameters for Productive Life, Reproduction, and Milk Production Traits in U.S. Dairy Goats in the Journal of Dairy Science. It was authored by Vielka Castaneda, a Ph.D student at the Colegio de Postgraduados in Mexico, who utilized ADGA’s production data in her research.
Heritabilities and correlations for milk yield (MY), fat yield (FY), protein yield (PY), combined fat and protein yield (FPY), fat percentage (F%), protein percentage (P%), age at first kidding (AFK), interval between the first and second kidding (KI), and real and functional productive life at 72 mo (FPL72) of 33,725 US dairy goats, were estimated using animal models. Productive life was defined as the total days in production until 72 mo of age (PL72) for goats having the opportunity to express the trait. Functional productive life was obtained by correcting PL72 for MY, FY, PY, and final type score (FS). Six selection indexes were used, including or excluding PL72, with 6 groups of different economic weights, to estimate the responses to selection considering MY, FY, PY, and PL72 as selection criteria. The main criteria that determined the culling of a goat from the herd were low FS, MY, and FY per lactation. Heritability estimates were 0.22, 0.17, 0.37, 0.37, 0.38, 0.39, 0.54, 0.64, 0.09, and 0.16 for PL72, FPL72, MY, FY, PY, FPY, F%, P%, KI, and AFK, respectively. Most genetic correlations between the evaluated traits and PL72 or FPL72 were positive, except for F% (−0.04 and −0.06, respectively), P% (−0.002 and −0.03, respectively), and AFK (−0.03 and −0.01, respectively). The highest genetic correlations were between FPL72 and MY (0.39) and between PL72 and MY (0.33). Most phenotypic correlations between the traits evaluated and FPL72 and PL72 were positive (>0.23 and >0.26, respectively), except for F% (−0.004 and −0.02, respectively), P% (−0.05 and −0.02), KI (−0.01 and −0.07), and AFK (−0.08 and −0.08). The direct selection for PL72 increased it by 102.28 d per generation. The use of MY, FY, PY, KI, or AFK as selection criteria increased PL72 by 39.21, 27.33, 35.90, −8.28, or 2.77 d per generation, respectively. The inclusion of PL72 as selection criterion increased the expected response per generation from 0.15 to 17.35% in all selection indices studied.
The full article is available online here.