Dairy Goat Genetics

Don’t you wish you could choose a buck for a particular doe that would “fix” a trait on that doe herself? I know, right? If only it were that easy…

My daughter’s animal science textbook listed the hereditability of traits for all different types of livestock so I pulled out just the dairy goat info, and then after searching the internet to see if I could add to it, I found the same chart I just made on the ADGA website. Apparently anything over 15% is worth paying attention to and once you get above 30% you have a good chance of carefully improving your herd. But still, if you think about it, a trait that is 30% hereditable means that you should have a 15% influence from each parent. So where does the other 70% come from? It’s a mix from grandparents. So when looking at that pedigree, get to know the grandparents as it seems they contribute more than the parents do!

Time to choose a buck!

Dairy Goat Trait Heritability
Stature 52%
Strength 29%
Dairyness 24%
Rump Angle 32%
Rump Width 27%
Rear Leg Angulation 21%
Fore Udder Attachment 25%
Rear Udder Height 25%
Rear Udder Arch 19%
Medial Suspensory Ligament 33%
Udder Depth 25%
Teat Placement 36%
Teat Diameter 38%

Wiggans, G.R. and Hubbard, S.M., Genetic evaluation of yield and type traits of dairy goats in the United States.  Journal of Dairy Science 2001.                             

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