The objective of this study was to estimate genomic breeding values for milk yield in crossbred dairy goats. The research was based on data provided by 2 commercial goat farms in the UK comprising 590,409 milk yield records on 14,453 dairy goats kidding between 1987 and 2013. The population was created by crossing 3 breeds: Alpine, Saanen, and Toggenburg. In each generation the best performing animals were selected for breeding, and as a result, a synthetic breed was created. The pedigree file contained 30,139 individuals, of which 2,799 were founders. The data set contained test-day records of milk yield, lactation number, farm, age at kidding, and year and season of kidding. Data on milk composition was unavailable. In total 1,960 animals were genotyped with the Illumina 50K caprine chip. Two methods for estimation of genomic breeding value were compared—BLUP at the single nucleotide polymorphism level (BLUP-SNP) and single-step BLUP. The highest accuracy of 0.61 was obtained with single-step BLUP, and the lowest (0.36) with BLUP-SNP. Linkage disequilibrium (r2, the squared correlation of the alleles at 2 loci) at 50 kb (distance between 2 SNP) was 0.18. This is the first attempt to implement genomic selection in UK dairy goats. Results indicate that the single-step method provides the highest accuracy for populations with a small number of genotyped individuals, where the number of genotyped males is low and females are predominant in the reference population.
- Dairy goat
- Milk yield