Genetic parameters of postnatal mortality and birth weight in Japanese Black calves

Takayuki Ibi, Alexander K. Kahi, Hiroyuki Hirooka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Postnatal mortality (PM) of calves is an economically important trait, because a high mortality rate of calves decreases farm income and significantly increases production costs. In spite of the economic importance of PM, genetic studies on PM have been scarce for Japanese Black cattle. The objectives of this study were to estimate the direct and maternal heritability for PM using a Bayesian threshold model with Gibbs sampling in Japanese Black cattle. The original data consisted of 43723 records of animals born from January 2005 to June 2006. Four binary traits of mortality were considered: D1-14, D15-60, D61-180 and D1-180 with numbers indicating the period of risk in days after birth. Direct heritabilities for PM ranged from 0.12 to 0.31 and maternal heritabilities for PM were lower than the direct heritabilities and ranged from 0.02 to 0.16. Direct genetic correlations between D1-14 and D15-60, between D15-60 and D61-180, and between D1-14 and D61-180 were 0.501, 0.689 and 0.062, respectively. Direct genetic correlations of birth weight with D1-14, D15-60, D61-180 and D1-180 were 0.089, 0.482, 0.434 and 0.394, respectively. These results indicated that different genes were responsible for early and late PM and early PM (D1-14) can be genetically reduced without influencing birth weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalAnimal Science Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Calf
  • Genetic parameter
  • Japanese Black
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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