Using Genetic Resources

Exploiting genetic differences among breeds and capturing heterosis are two fundamental tactics to improve efficiency and profitability of livestock and poultry production. The multifaceted nature of the breed utilization problem and the extensive resources needed for experimental evaluation of alternative combinations have motivated extensive use of mathematical models of herds or animals to derive recommendations.1-13-15-1

A logical extension of selection among breeds leads to selection among individuals within breeds. Mathematical models of production systems place individual phenotypes in the context of a production system. Partial derivatives of profit with respect to individual phenotypes provide relative economic values that can be used as weighting factors for genetic predictions in a selection index.[16'17] This strategy leads to a consistent and objective means of selection for improved profitability.

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