Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science


The ability of the cow to wean a heavy, vigorous and good quality calf every year is probably the most important economic trait in a beef cattle enterprise. But wide variations in the weaning weight of beef calves exist in almost every herd. These variations persist despite possible continued selection and general improvement and form the basis for further genetic improvement of the trait. Background information necessary for the development of effective herd improvement programs include knowledge of (1) the variability present in the performance traits, (2) the relative importance of heredity on the expression of the traits, and (3) the magnitude of the influence of specific environmental factors. The improvement in livestock production is dependent, not only on how much of the individual variation is due to heredity, but also on how accurately we can recognize and make adjustments for the environmental influences. The purpose of this study then is to evaluate the various environmental and genetic factors that may affect the weight of beef claves at weaning.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Beef cattle


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only