The long-term genetic contributions were calculated for 219 Finnish Ayrshire bulls born between 1958 and 1964 to 707 Finnish Ayrshire bulls made available for artificial insemination and born between 1986 and 1988. Three strategies were employed:(i) using all known pedigree information; (ii) ignoring information on the dam of females; (iii) only using information on sires. Expected contributions were calculated using gene flow matrices.
The contributions from strategies 1, 2 and 3 were only 0.6 (1 and 2) or 0.7 (strategy 3) of those expected. The causes of this shortfall for strategies 2 and 3 were identified as (i) the use of an imported sire and (ii) generation skipping. For strategy 1, 0.2 of the expected pathways remained unaccounted for and were ascribed to missing pedigree information.
Of the 219 ancestors, only 86 made positive contributions to the descendants. Only 10 ancestors made contributions more than the average, and one bull accounted for 0.3 of all pathways traced on strategy 2. There was general agreement in the relative contributions of individual bulls when assessed using the three strategies.
The rate of inbreeding (ΔF) estimated by regression from 1974 to 1988 and using known pedigrees was 0.0018 per year and the average coefficients of additive genetic relationship among cohorts was increasing by 0.0030 per year. AF was estimated using the contributions calculated by strategies 1, 2 and 3 to be 0.0147, 0.0151 and 0.0125 per generation respectively. These were converted into rates per year by assuming a generation interval of 6.5 years taken from both published and new information on generation intervals in the Finnish Ayrshire population. This gave annual rates of 0.0023, 0.0023 and 0.0019. The estimates from strategy 3 were obtained without the use of any pedigree information pertaining to dams.