Estimation of variance components for body weight of grasscutters (Thryonomys swinderianus) using a repeatability model
Keywords:Heritability, mass selection, repeatability, WOMBAT
Genetic parameters for growth and other economically important traits of grasscutters are scant in literature. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate variance components,heritability and repeatability of body weight of grasscutters using restricted maxim um likelihood method in a repeatability animal model. Sixteen grasscutter families were used for the study. Each family was made up of one male and four females. Each grasscutter has four repeated records giving a total of 320. The pedigree consisted of 80 animals, progenies of 16 sires and 16 dams. Fixed factors included in the model were family and sex. The WOMBAT program was used for the analysis. The heritability of body weight of grasscutters ranged from 0.23±0.04 to 0.68±0.10, thus implying that mass selection will be appropriate for this population. The repeatability estimates ranged from 0.82±0.08 to 0.93±0.11. It can be concluded that the number of body weight records was a good indicator of the animal's growth potential and that mass selection will be reliable.