Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 510281
Title Genetic changes of survival traits over the past 25 yr in Dutch dairy cattle
Author(s) Pelt, M.L. van; Ducrocq, V.; Jong, G. de; Calus, M.P.L.; Veerkamp, R.F.
Source Journal of Dairy Science 99 (2016)12. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 9810 - 9819.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-11249
Department(s) LR - Animal Breeding & Genomics
PPO/PRI F&C Projectbureau
WIAS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) genetic correlation - longevity - survival
Abstract

Genetic correlations and heritabilities for survival were investigated over a period of 25 yr to evaluate if survival in first lactation has become a different trait and if this is affected by adjusting for production level. Survival after first calving until 12 mo after calving (surv_12mo) and survival of first lactation (surv_1st_lac) were analyzed in Dutch black-and-white cows. The data set contained 1,108,745 animals for surv_12mo and 1,062,276 animals for surv_1st_lac, with first calving between 1989 and 2013. The trait survival as recorded over 25 yr was split in five 5-yr intervals to enable a multitrait analysis. Bivariate models using subsets of the full data set and multitrait and autoregressive models using the full data set were used. Survival and functional survival were analyzed. Functional survival was defined as survival adjusted for within-herd production level for 305-d yield of combined kilograms of fat and protein. Mean survival increased over time, whereas genetic variances and heritability decreased. Bivariate models yielded large standard errors on genetic correlations due to poor connectedness between the extreme 5-yr intervals. The more parsimonious models using the full data set gave nonunity genetic correlations. Genetic correlations for survival were below 0.90 between intervals separated by 1 or more 5-yr intervals. Genetic correlations for functional survival did not indicate that definition of survival changed (≥0.90). The difference in genetic correlations between survival and functional survival is likely explained by lower emphasis of dairy farmers on culling in first lactation for low yield in more recent years. This suggests that genetic evaluation for longevity using historical data should analyze functional survival rather than survival.

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