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Genetic improvement of total milk yield and total lactation persistency of the first three lactations in dairy cattle

Genetic improvement of total milk yield and total lactation persistency of the first three lactations in dairy cattle

Journal of Dairy Science 91(7): 2836-2843

The objective of this study was to compare 6 selection criteria in terms of 3-parity total milk yield and 9 selection criteria in terms of total net merit (H) comprising 3-parity total milk yield and total lactation persistency. The 6 selection criteria compared were as follows: first-parity milk estimated breeding value (EBV; M1), first 2-parity milk EBV (M2), first 3-parity milk EBV (M3), first-parity eigen index (EI(1)), first 2-parity eigen index (EI(2)), and first 3-parity eigen index (EI(3)). The 9 selection criteria compared in terms of H were M1, M2, M3, EI(1), EI(2), EI(3), and first-parity, first 2-parity, and first 3-parity selection indices (I(1), I(2), and I(3), respectively). In terms of total milk yield, selection on M3 or EI(3) achieved the greatest genetic response, whereas selection on EI(1) produced the largest genetic progress per day. In terms of total net merit, selection on I(3) brought the largest response, whereas selection EI(1) yielded the greatest genetic progress per day. A multiple-lactation random regression test-day model simultaneously yields the EBV of the 3 lactations for all animals included in the analysis even though the younger animals do not have the opportunity to complete the first 3 lactations. It is important to use the first 3 lactation EBV for selection decision rather than only the first lactation EBV in spite of the fact that the first-parity selection criteria achieved a faster genetic progress per day than the 3-parity selection criteria. Under a multiple-lactation random regression animal model analysis, the use of the first 3 lactation EBV for selection decision does not prolong the generation interval as compared with the use of only the first lactation EBV. Thus, it is justified to compare genetic response on a lifetime basis rather than on a per-day basis. The results suggest the use of M3 or EI(3) for genetic improvement of total milk yield and the use of I(3) for genetic improvement of total net merit H. Although this study deals with selection for 3-parity milk production, the same principle applies to selection for lifetime milk production.

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Accession: 031566496

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 18565941

DOI: 10.3168/jds.2007-0783

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