Genetic parameters for milk yield and lactation persistency in the three first parities of Iranian Holstein cows
Keywords: dairy cattle, heritability, lactation curve, milk yield, persistency, repeatability
AbstractBackground: Lactation persistency influences cow health and reproduction and has an impact on the feed costs of dairy farms. Objective: To estimate (co)variance components and genetic parameters of 100- and 305-d milk yield, and lactation persistency in Holstein cows in Iran. Methods: Records collected from January 2000 to December 2012 by the Animal Breeding Center of Iran (Karaj, Iran) were used. The following four measures of lactation persistency were used: P21: Ratio of milk yield in the second 100-d in milk (DIM) divided by that of the first 100-d. P31: Ratios of milk yield in the third100-d divided by that of the first 100-d. PW: The persistency measure derived from the incomplete gamma function. PJ: The difference between milk yield in day 60th and 280th of lactation. Results: The estimated heritability of lactation persistency for the three first parities (first, second, and third lactation) ranged from 0.01 to 0.06, 0.02 to 0.10, and 0.01 to 0.12, respectively. Genetic correlations among lactation persistency measures for the three first parities ranged from 0.77 to 0.98, 0.65 to 0.98, and 0.58 to 0.98, respectively; while corresponding values for genetic correlations among lactation persistency with 305-d milk production ranged from 0.18 to 0.63, 0.32 to 0.75, and 0.41 to 0.71, respectively. The estimated repeatability for lactation persistency measures ranged from 0.06 to 0.20. Conclusion: The moderate positive genetic correlation between lactation persistency and 305-d milk yield indicates that selection for increasing milk yield can slightly improve lactation persistency.
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