Due to the absence of accurate pedigree information, it has not been possible to implement genetic evaluations for crossbred cattle in African small-holder systems. Genomic selection techniques that do not rely on pedigree information could, therefore, be a useful alternative. The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility of using genomic selection techniques in a crossbred cattle population using data from Kenya provided by the Dairy Genetics East Africa Project. Genomic estimated breeding values for milk yield were estimated using 2 prediction methods, GBLUP and BayesC, and accuracies were calculated as the correlation between yield deviations and genomic breeding values included in the estimation process, mimicking the situation for young bulls. The accuracy of evaluation ranged from 0.28 to 0.41, depending on the validation population and prediction method used. No significant differences were found in accuracy between the 2 prediction methods. The results suggest that there is potential for implementing genomic selection for young bulls in crossbred small-holder cattle populations, and targeted genotyping and phenotyping should be pursued to facilitate this.
- Dairy cattle
- Genomic selection