Modelling lactation curve for milk fat to protein ratio in Iranian buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) using non-linear mixed models

Navid Ghavi Hossein-Zadeh
Journal of Dairy Research 2016, 83 (3): 334-40
The aim of this study was to compare seven non-linear mathematical models (Brody, Wood, Dhanoa, Sikka, Nelder, Rook and Dijkstra) to examine their efficiency in describing the lactation curves for milk fat to protein ratio (FPR) in Iranian buffaloes. Data were 43 818 test-day records for FPR from the first three lactations of Iranian buffaloes which were collected on 523 dairy herds in the period from 1996 to 2012 by the Animal Breeding Center of Iran. Each model was fitted to monthly FPR records of buffaloes using the non-linear mixed model procedure (PROC NLMIXED) in SAS and the parameters were estimated. The models were tested for goodness of fit using Akaike's information criterion (AIC), Bayesian information criterion (BIC) and log maximum likelihood (-2 Log L). The Nelder and Sikka mixed models provided the best fit of lactation curve for FPR in the first and second lactations of Iranian buffaloes, respectively. However, Wood, Dhanoa and Sikka mixed models provided the best fit of lactation curve for FPR in the third parity buffaloes. Evaluation of first, second and third lactation features showed that all models, except for Dijkstra model in the third lactation, under-predicted test time at which daily FPR was minimum. On the other hand, minimum FPR was over-predicted by all equations. Evaluation of the different models used in this study indicated that non-linear mixed models were sufficient for fitting test-day FPR records of Iranian buffaloes.

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