Data consisting of 3855 records and collected from 1998 to 2008 were analysed to estimate genetic parameters for economic traits in two Boer goat flocks. The traits investigated were weaning weight and post-weaning weight. Least square analysis was used for estimation of environmental effects. Genetic parameters were estimated from single and bivariate trait analyses using ASREML software fitting animal models. By ignoring or including maternal additive genetic effects and their covariance and maternal permanent environmental effects seven different models were fitted for each trait. The fixed effects of sex, type of birth, age of dam, year of birth, herd, season and age of lamb, were all significant (P<0.05) for both traits. The direct heritability estimates varied from 0.24 for weaning weight to 0.31 for post-weaning weight. The corresponding maternal permanent environment due to the dam was 0.10 and 0.44 respectively. The maternal heritability (0.03) for weaning weight was lower than its corresponding direct heritability. Estimates of genetic parameters in this study confirmed that selection for weaning weight would result in genetic improvement of Boer goats.
Keywords: Boer goat; weaning weight; post-weaning weight; heritability