It seems to be a crap shoot as to whether an indifferent mother 's daughters will be good or not. Have had it go both ways. Usually I have found that an indifferent mother's calves will not be as big or nice because they don't get all they could/should because the cow is indifferent. So because they are not as nice a calf they seldom get retained as a potential replacement. Still, more of our good mothers have daughters in the herd because they are good mothers also. I did a little digging in my records to try to answer this as it made me think about our heifer retaining.
I am apt to keep a heifer out of a cow that has a good disposition, and along with that good disposition is her being a good mother. I have a cow right now that is an exceptional mother. 4th calf I think. The calf is a flighty nutcase.... like spookier than wild deer. Nice calf. NOT A CANDIDATE to be retained .... UNLESS when we move them to the barn, she calms down and is only this way from being at a distant pasture with little human interaction. But she has been wild since birth, haven't been able to get her and another calf into the catch pen to get the group moved. Could be the other calf too. I have a cow that is a sweetheart and she is not the greatest mother, but her calves are always calm like her. Have kept 2 heifers and they have been good mothers. The cow may be a better mother than I give her credit for, because if I am out there she wants to be around me, and not worrying about her calf.