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Estimates of genetic parameters for milk and fat yield for the first three lactations in British Friesian cows

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2010

Karin Meyer
Affiliation:
Institute of Animal Genetics, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JN†
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Abstract

A multivariate restricted maximum-likelihood procedure was used to estimate variance and covariance components between and within sires. This method, which considered all lactations simultaneously, accounted for the bias in later lactation records due to selection on dairy performance. Analysis was carried out for a mixed model with herd-year-seasons as fixed and sires as random effects, and fitting lactation length, calving age and month within season of calving as covariables. The data included 26 176 first, 19 978 second and 14 868 third lactation records for 679 test sires, and were analysed in 13 subsets. Additional records for proven sires, treated as fixed effects, were included to improve the data structure.

Estimates for all components were higher in later than in earlier data sets, probably, to a large extent, because of a scale effect. Pooled estimates of heritabilities for lactations 1 to 3 were 0·28, 0·19 and 0·24 for milk yield, and 0·27, 0·21 and 0·25 for fat yield. Genetic correlations of 0·91, 0·91 and 0·95 for milk yield, and 0·91, 0·91 and 0·99 for fat yield, were found between lactations 1 and 2, 1 and 3, and 2 and 3, respectively. Results suggest that dairy performance in all lactations is almost identical genetically.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Society of Animal Science 1984

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References

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