Analysis of longevity in the Slovak Pinzgau population – extension to the animal model

https://doi.org/10.17221/6858-CJASCitation:Mészáros G., Kadlečík O., Kasarda R., Sölkner J. (2013): Analysis of longevity in the Slovak Pinzgau population – extension to the animal model. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 58: 289-295.
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Breeding values for length of productive life in Slovak Pinzgau cattle were estimated using survival analysis. As the results were corrected for milk production, the final breeding values represented the ability of cows to avoid culling from reasons other than milk production. In addition to the relative milk yield, the risk of culling was also studied in connection with the herd and year of calving, parity and stage of lactation, herd size change and age at the first calving. Among the fixed effects, the low milk production, high age at the first calving, and decreasing herd size were associated with increased risk of culling. The risk was non-linear for parity × stage of lactation classes, decreasing within the first parity and increasing during later parities. Two genetic random effects were considered in separate models: the sire of the cow and the animal itself, both with the corresponding pedigree records up to the third generation. The genetic effects were estimated in separate runs, but the rest of the model remained unchanged. Heritability was h2 = 0.08 for sire model, confirming the results of an earlier study in the Slovak Pinzgau population. The computational feasibility of the animal model for estimation of breeding values for cows was confirmed in this study. The new breeding values could be computed for each cow, accounting for all relationships within the population. The estimated heritability for the animal model was h2 = 0.11, which should be used later on for animal breeding purposes.  
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