Genetic parameters for first and second lactation milk yields of Polish black and white cattle with random regression test-day models

T Strabel, I Misztal
Journal of Dairy Science 1999, 82 (12): 2805-10
Single- and two-trait random regression models were applied to estimate variance components of test-day records of milk, fat, and protein yields in the first and second lactation of Polish Black and White cattle. The model included fixed herd test-day effect, three covariates to describe lactation curve nested within age-season classes, and random regressions for additive genetic and permanent environmental effects. In two-parity models, each parity was treated as a separate trait. For milk and the two-parity model, heritabilities were in the range of 0.14 to 0.19 throughout first lactation and 0.10 to 0.16 throughout second lactation. For fat, heritabilities were within 0.11 to 0.16 and 0.11 to 0.22 throughout first and second lactations, respectively. For protein in the two-parity model, heritabilities were within 0.10 to 0.15 throughout most of first lactation and within 0.06 to 0.15 throughout the most of second lactation. For milk, genetic correlations between the first and second parities were 0.6 at the beginning of the lactation, rising to 0.9 in the middle, and 0.8 at the end of the lactation. For fat, the corresponding correlations were 0.6, 0.8, and 0.7, respectively, and for protein were 0.6, 0.8, and 0.8, respectively. Heritability estimates for all traits were flatter for the two-parity model. Relatively smooth genetic and permanent environmental variances with the two-parity model indicated that large swings of heritabilities could be artifacts of single-trait random regression models. High correlations between most of test day records across lactations suggested that a repeatability model could be considered as an alternative to a multiple-trait model to analyze multiple parities.

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