Genetic and economic evaluation of a basic breeding programme for Kenya Boran cattle.
Valle Zárate A.
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The objective of this study is to describe the present organisational structure of Boran cattle breeding and develop a model breeding programme using a deterministic approach under the current structure of the Boran Cattle Breeders Society. A breeding unit of 13,000 cows supplying bulls to a commercial population of 39,000 cows was assumed. Selection criteria used were growth and reproduction traits while breeding objective traits targeted were growth, carcass, reproduction, survival, milk yield and feed intake traits. Higher selection intensity was possible for breeding sires resulting in higher genetic gains compared to dams even though selection accuracies were generally low. Annual genetic gains were positive except for dressing percentage, cow survival rate, and age at first calving. However, a reduction of age at first calving by 9.5 days obtained a return of Ksh 49.76. The overall monetary genetic gain obtained was Ksh 84.89 with a profit per cow per year of Ksh 377.98. The basic breeding programme could be expanded to accommodate a larger population of Boran cattle. The implications of the results are also discussed.