Journal : Journal of Dairy Science (JDS) , vol. 92 , p. 5730–5738–9 , 2009
Publisher : Elsevier
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 0022-0302
Electronic : 1525-3198
Publication type : Academic article
Issue : 11
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The objective of this study was to compare alternative trait definitions and statistical models for genetic evaluation of survival in dairy cattle. Data from the first 5 lactations of 808,750 first-crop daughters of 3,064 Norwegian Red sires were analyzed. Seven sire models were used for genetic analyses: linear and threshold cross-sectional models for binary survival scores from first lactation; a linear multi-trait model for survival scores from the first 3 lactations; linear and threshold repeatability models for survival scores from the first 5 lactations; a Weibull frailty model for herd life in first lactation; and a Weibull frailty model for herd life in the first 5 lactations. The models were compared to assess predictive ability of sire estimated breeding values with respect to average survival 365 d after first calving for second-crop daughters (not included in calculation of predicted transmitting abilities) of 375 elite sires. Generally, the linear multi-trait model analyzing survival in the first 3 lactations as correlated traits gave more-accurate predicted sire breeding values compared with both linear and Weibull frailty models using data from first lactation only, even when the latter models were extended to include data up to the sixth lactation. The Weibull frailty models did not improve predictive ability of sire estimated breeding values over what was obtained using a simple cross-sectional linear model for binary survival in first lactation.