Genetic relationship between lactation persistency and conformation traits in Polish Holstein-Friesian cow population

https://doi.org/10.17221/8730-CJASCitation:Otwinowska-Mindur A., Ptak E., Jagusiak W. (2016): Genetic relationship between lactation persistency and conformation traits in Polish Holstein-Friesian cow population. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 61: 75-81.
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The objective of this study was to find genetic relationships between lactation persistency and conformation traits of Polish Holstein-Friesian cows. The data were derived from SYMLEK – the Polish National Database. The analysis used 22 conformation traits and 3 persistency measures of 18 216 first lactation cows. Persistency was defined as milk yield in the second 100 days in milk (DIM) divided by the yield in the first 100 DIM, milk yield in the third 100 DIM divided by the yield in the first 100 DIM, and milk yield at 280 DIM divided by milk yield at 60 DIM. The lactation curve was modelled with fourth-order Legendre polynomials using a multiple-trait prediction method. The multiple-trait REML method was applied for (co)variance component estimation. The linear model for persistency included fixed effects of herd-year-season of calving, age of calving class, and random animal effect; the linear model for type traits included fixed effects of herd-year-season of calving-classifier, age of calving class, lactation stage, and random animal effect. Stature and composite type traits (except type and conformation) were moderately or strongly genetically correlated with each of the three persistency measures. Genetic correlations of lactation persistency with overall feet and leg score and overall udder score were height and positive, whereas the correlations with stature and size were height but negative. All linearly scored traits had little genetic relationship with persistency measures except for rear udder height, udder width, and foot angle. In these three cases the genetic correlations with persistency measures were relatively high, positive, and preferable. The obtained genetic correlations suggest that increased weights of composite traits like size, overall feet and leg score, and overall udder score in the selection index, as well as selection for better rear udder height and foot angle, might cause a favourable correlated response in persistency.
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