Glenn Conatser University of Tennessee

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Estimating Genetic Merit

Publish Date: June 3, 2006

In estimating the genetic merit of an animal, breeders are trying to determine the animal’s value as a parent, its breeding value. The phenotype of an animal (the traits we see and measure) is a combination of genetic and environmental effects. Genetic effects are the result of the genes inherited from parents. Environmental effects are the result of conditions the animal experienced, such as level of nutrition, stocking density, temperature, or health status.

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