Analysis of gestation length in American Simmental cattle.
Wray NR., Quaas RL., Pollak EJ.
Records of gestation length (71,461) for Simmental cattle were distributed with mean 284.3 d and standard deviation 5.52 d. Gestation length was found to increase with percent Simmental and was 1.9 d longer for calves born to mature dams than for those born to heifer dams. Bull calves experienced gestation lengths 1.5 d longer than heifer calves. Sire, maternal grandsire, residual and total variances were estimated to be 2.42, .58, 22.78 and 25.78 d2, respectively, by Henderson's Method III. Heritability of gestation length was calculated to be .374 from the sire variance and .09 from the maternal grandsire variance. Direct additive genetic variance was considered to be of greater importance than maternal additive genetic variance. Correlations between the evaluations of sires for gestation length and heifer calving ease, birth weight and weaning weight were .26, .26 and .13, respectively.