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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Use of test-day records beyond three hundred five days for estimation of three hundred five-day breeding values for production traits and somatic cell score of Canadian Holsteins

J Bohmanova, F Miglior, J Jamrozik
Journal of Dairy Science 2009, 92 (10): 5314-25
19762849
The Canadian Test-Day Model includes test-day (TD) records from 5 to 305 d in milk (DIM). Because 60% of Canadian Holstein cows have at least one lactation longer than 305 d, a significant number of TD records beyond 305 DIM could be included in the genetic evaluation. The aim of this study was to investigate whether TD records beyond 305 DIM could be useful for estimation of 305-d estimated breeding value (EBV) for milk, fat, and protein yields and somatic cell score. Data were 48,638,184 TD milk, fat, and protein yields and somatic cell scores from the first 3 lactations of 2,826,456 Canadian Holstein cows. All production traits were preadjusted for the effect of pregnancy. Subsets of data were created for variance-component estimation by random sampling of 50 herds. Variance components were estimated using Gibbs sampling. Full data sets were used for estimation of breeding values. Three multiple-trait, multiple-lactation random regression models with TD records up to 305 DIM (M305), 335 DIM (M335), and 365 DIM (M365) were fitted. Two additional models (M305a and M305b) used TD records up to 305 DIM and variance components previously estimated by M335 and M365, respectively. The effects common to all models were fixed effects of herd x test-date and DIM class, fixed regression on DIM nested within region x age x season class, and random regressions for additive genetic and permanent environmental effects. Legendre polynomials of order 6 and 4 were fitted for fixed and random regressions, respectively. Rapid increase of additive genetic and permanent environmental variances at extremes of lactations was observed with all 3 models. The increase of additive genetic and permanent environmental variances was at earlier DIM with M305, resulting in greater variances at 305 DIM with M305 than with M335 and M365. Model M305 had the best ability to predict TD yields from 5 through 305 DIM and less error of prediction of 305-d EBV than M335 and M365. Model M335 had smaller change of 305-d EBV of bulls over the period of 7 yr than did M305 and M365. Model M305a had the least error of prediction and change of 305-d EBV from all models. Therefore, the use of TD records of Holstein cows from 5 through 305 DIM and variance components estimated using records up to 335 DIM is recommended for the Canadian Test-Day Model.

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