Zb. Bioteh. Fak. Univ. Ljub., Kmet. Supl.

, 31(oktober 2001), 301-307 Original scientific paper Izvirni znanstveni prispevek FIXED EFFECTS FOR 305-DAY LACTATION MILK TRAITS IN CATTLE Gregor GORJANCa), Špela MALOVRHb), Betka LOGARc) and Milena KOVAČd)
a)Univ. of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Fac., Zootechnical Dept., Groblje 3, SI-1230 Domžale, Slovenia b)Same address, B.Sc.Agr. c)Agricultural institute of Slovenia, Hacquetova 17, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, M.Sc., B.Sc. Agr. d)Univ. of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Fac., Zootechnical Dept., Groblje 3, SI-1230 Domžale, Slovenia, Prof., Ph.D, M.Sc., B.Sc.Agr.

A B S T R A CT Fixed part of the model for genetic evaluation of milk (MY), fat (FY), protein yield (PY), as well as fat (FC) and protein content (PC) in dairy cattle was studied. During the period 1975-2000, 786551 records of milk and fat from 243634 dairy cows of Black-and-White (B&W), Brown (BR) and Simmental (SI) breed were obtained from 13077 herds in Slovenia. Dataset for PY and PC covered 479456 records and 173069 cows between years 1990 and 2000. Breeds were analysed separately. Parities higher than seventh were combined in one class. The model for yields included fixed effects of calving season, parity, as well as age at calving within parity and length of lactation as quadratic polynomials. Calving season and linear regression for age at calving were sufficient for FC and PC. Age at calving fitted with quadratic regression within parity showed considerable patterns. Findings from this research will be utilised in adjacent study of random effects in the model for genetic evaluation of milk traits in Slovenia.
Key words: cattle / lactation yields / models / season / parity / age at calving / lactation length

SISTEMATSKI VPLIVI ZA LASTNOSTI MLEČNOSTI V STANDARDNI LAKTACIJI PRI GOVEDU IZVLEČEK Preučevali smo sistematski del modela za napovedovanje plemenskih vrednosti za količino mleka (MY), maščobe (FY) in beljakovin (PY) kakor tudi za vsebnost maščob (FC) in beljakovin (PC) pri govedu. V analizo MY, FY in FC smo vključili 786551 zapisov 243634 krav črno-bele (B&W), rjave (BR) in lisaste pasme (SI) iz 13077 čred v Sloveniji, ki so telile med leti 1975 in 2000, za PY in PC pa 479456 zapisov 173069 krav med leti 1990 in 2000. Analizo smo opravili ločeno po pasmah. Osmo in višje zaporedne laktacije (ZL) smo združili. Model za količine je vseboval sistematske vplive sezone telitve in ZL ter starost ob telitvi znotraj ZL in dolžino laktacije kot kvadratni regresiji. Model za vsebnosti je vključeval le sezono telitve in linearno regresijo za starost ob telitvi. Starost ob telitvi je kot kvadratna regresija znotraj ZL kazala značilne trende. Rezultate raziskave bomo uporabili v analizi naključnih vplivov modela za napovedovanje plemenskih vrednosti za lastnosti mlečnosti v Sloveniji.
Ključne besede: govedo / mlečnost / laktacijski zaključki / modeli / sezona / zaporedna laktacija / starost ob telitvi / dolžina laktacije

9th Int. Symp. "Animal Science Days", Radenci, Slovenia, Oct. 03-05, 2001 2

Zb. Bioteh. Fak. Univ. Ljub., Kmet. Supl., 31(oktober 2001), 301-307

INTRODUCTION Genetic evaluation of dairy traits in cattle has undergone many changes in the last years. Contemporary comparison method and sire model were replaced by animal model in almost all Interbull member countries as well as in others. The animal model accounts for relationship among animals and results in simultaneous evaluation of cows and bulls. Nevertheless, a few countries have already implemented test-day model in routine genetic evaluations and intensive research in random regression area promises further changes. Despite of intentional shift towards advanced evaluation methods, there are still many differences among countries and organizations, which are for member countries reviewed by Interbull (2000). Countries around the world use different models and effects to fit the data. Effects like lactation length, parity, age at calving, calving interval, days open in current lactation, breed, different management groups, seasons of calving and birth, herd-year-season interaction, region and number of milkings per day are usually applied in pre-adjustments or implemented in models for lactation records (Interbull, 2000). In the year 2000, Slovenia replaced sire model with an animal model. Specific production environment in Slovenia requires appropriate effects in the statistical model. For this reason, research in this area is still in place and the aim of this study was to determine systematic components of the model for genetic evaluation of milk traits in dairy cattle.

MATERIAL AND METHODS The Slovenian Cattle Breeding Association provided data for 201 to 305-day lactation records for milk (MY), fat (FY), and protein yield (PY), as well as fat (FC) and protein content (PC). For the milk yield and fat traits in Black-and-White (B&W) and Simmental breed (SI), lactation records of cows calved between 1980 and 2000 were included, while data for Brown breed (BR) originated from 1975. Regular measuring of protein content in milk started later; therefore, lactation records for protein traits were considered between years 1990 and 2000. The dataset used in analysis of MY, FY, and FC contained records from 243634 dairy cows (63894 B&W, 71863 BR, and 107877 SI) from 13077 herds. Another dataset with PY and PC covered records from 173069 dairy-cows (48176 B&W, 82933 SI, 41960 BR) in 9560 herds. Statistical analysis Only the records with known birth and calving date, parity and lactation yields were analysed. Parities after seventh were combined in one class. The age at calving was nested within parity. It was restricted from 20 to 50 months in the first parity and for additional 10 to 15 months in successive lactations up to the sixth. In higher parities, age interval was wider (Table 1). Season of calving was included as year-quarter interaction. Similar seasons (year-quarters) with less then 30 records per class were joined. On the basis of preliminary analyses of milk traits, the effects were restricted from 0 to 200 days for dry days (DD), from 21 to 400 days for days open (DO) and from 231 (21 DO + 201 days in milk, DIM) to 705 days (400 DO + 305 days from conception) for calving interval. These effects were included as covariables, but they were not statistically significant or they did not contribute to the model improvement, and thus excluded from further analysis.

9th Int. Symp. "Animal Science Days", Radenci, Slovenia, Oct. 03-05, 2001 2

Zb. Bioteh. Fak. Univ. Ljub., Kmet. Supl., 31(oktober 2001), 301-307 Table 1: Summary statistics for age at calving in months by parities Parity Records (%) Mean SD Min 25.28 29 4.1 20 1 20.44 42 5.1 30 2 15.95 56 6.0 40 3 12.19 69 6.9 50 4 9.02 82 7.8 60 5 6.42 95 8.4 75 6 4.37 108 9.0 90 7 5.97 132 15.3 105 8≤
SD – standard deviation

Max
50 65 80 95 110 125 140 170

For the statistical analysis, procedure GLM from statistical package SAS/STAT (1989) was used. Choice of the model and effects based on coefficient of determination (R2), degrees of freedom (df), as well as significance and proportion of variation explained by effect studied. Like the breeding goals are different for each breed, the models were developed separately for each breed. Model selected Preliminary analyses showed that model 1 could be used in all three breeds for yields and model 2 for fat and protein contents. Effects of calving season (Ci) and parity (Pj) where considered as fixed effects with levels (Gorjanc et al., in preparation). Age at calving (xijk) in MY, FY and PY was included as quadratic regression nested within parity, and linear in FC and PC. Length of lactation (zijk) was also treated as quadratic regression in MY, FY, and PY only. All included effects were highly statistically significant (p < 0.0001).
y ijk = µ + C i + P j + b Ii (x ijk − x ) + b IIi (x ijk − x ) + b III (z ijk − z j ) + b IV (z ijk − z j ) + e ijk
2 2

[1] [2]

y ij = µ + C i + b I ( x ij − x ) + e ij

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Descriptive statistics for studied milk traits by breed are given in Table 2. SI breed has contributed majority (46.4 %) of data, B&W is the smallest population with 22.7 % of records. As expected, B&W cows had higher yields and lower fat and protein contents than BR and SI in observed period. In spite of the fact that SI is not special dairy breed, some cows reached production comparable to the best BR cows. Nevertheless, the highest values for milk (14360 kg), fat (668.4 kg), and protein (495.1 kg) yields were recorded in B&W. FC and PC among breeds were very similar in means and standard deviations. All traits were increased steadily over years as a result of genetic and environmental changes. In general, other European countries have comparable level in FC and PC (ICAR, 2000).

9th Int. Symp. "Animal Science Days", Radenci, Slovenia, Oct. 03-05, 2001 2

Zb. Bioteh. Fak. Univ. Ljub., Kmet. Supl., 31(oktober 2001), 301-307 Table 2: Descriptive statistics for milk traits by breed Trait Breed Records Mean B&W 178742 5811 MY (kg)
BR SI B&W BR SI B&W BR SI B&W BR SI B&W BR SI 242602 365207 178735 242556 365189 178731 242565 365189 124180 117238 238039 124178 117238 238040 4106 3725 226.0 160.7 146.6 3.89 3.89 3.92 192.0 143.3 127.1 3.18 3.22 3.26

SD
1546.5 1127.0 1043.4 65.80 49.82 45.80 0.485 0.395 0.399 51.04 41.81 37.46 0.239 0.237 0.233

Min
961 890 612 35.5 24.0 25.0 2.01 2.00 2.00 31.5 30.6 20.1 2.00 2.01 2.00

Max
14360 11672 11078 668.4 545.7 561.0 6.96 6.93 6.98 495.1 437.8 368.0 4.94 4.96 4.92

FY (kg)

FC (%)

PY (kg)

PC (%)

MY – milk yield; FY - fat yield; PY – protein yield; FC- fat content; PC - protein content; SD – standard deviation; B&W – Black-and-White; BR – Brown; SI - Simmental

Proportion of variation explained in MY, FY and PY with model 1 ranged between 25 and 32 % (Table 3). Higher percentage of determined variation were in FY, followed by MY and PY. Season of calving represented majority of explained variation (8.5-10.9 %, 14.8-17.4 % and 10.6-11.6 % for MY, FY and PY, respectively). Parity explained from 3.1 to 8.1 %, lactation length from 8.3 to 9.9 %, while age at calving within parity covered from 0.4 to 1.5 %. The portion of explained variation in FC and PC was lower (from 10.97 to 17.33 %). In analysis of FC and PC, season of calving showed even higher proportion of explained variation (10.37 to 16.21 %). Table 3: Coefficient of determination (R2) and degrees of freedom (df) for models fitted by breed Black-and-White Brown Simmental 2 2 2 Trait Model R (%) df R (%) df R (%) df 1 26.85 108 28.75 128 25.67 108 MY 1 30.76 108 31.69 128 30.12 108 FY 1 26.49 68 25.18 78 24.55 68 PY 2 11.20 83 15.15 103 17.33 83 FC 2 12.39 43 17.02 43 10.97 43 PC
MY – milk yield; FY - fat yield; PY – protein yield; FC- fat content; PC - protein content

Seasonal phenotypic trends were evident in all traits as shown for milk yield in Figure 1. Effect of season explained two sources of variation: long-term increase in all traits, probably caused by selection, improved management and structural changes through years and on the other hand, oscillations within years, caused by short-term changes in climate and management. In general, cows calved in first and fourth quarter of year had higher yields and in third higher contents, respectively. Parity and cow’s age as effects were in dairy cattle thoroughly investigated. Alteration through parities was described with classes in this study (Figures 2-4). There was evident increase of MY, FY and PY from the first to the third, fourth or fifth lactation, depending on the trait and breed. This is in agreement with Anderson (1985) who reported that production of cow 9th Int. Symp. "Animal Science Days", Radenci, Slovenia, Oct. 03-05, 2001 2

Zb. Bioteh. Fak. Univ. Ljub., Kmet. Supl., 31(oktober 2001), 301-307 reaches the peak around fifth lactation, when animal is seven to eight years old. At that time, cow gains to adult body size. Therefore, increase in production is caused by maturation and increase in body and mammary gland. Mammary gland grows and develops parallel to growing, maturation and recurring pregnancies and lactations (Anderson, 1985). Bagnato et al. (1994) reported that cows of the same age but different parity have different production, and that differences are particularly evident for the first and second parity. Models for genetic evaluation of milk traits include age at calving in different forms: only as age or parity and as interactions between age and parity (Interbull, 2000). Bonaiti et al. (1993) and Wiggans and VanRaden (1994) demonstrated that estimates of genetic trends are quite sensitive to the proper age and parity adjustment factors. Therefore, parity and age at calving produce joint effect on milk production, which should be included in the model. Age at calving modelled as quadratic regression within parity shows a reasonable pattern evident from Figures 2-4. In breeds with higher milk production (B&W and BR), traits were more influenced by age within parity comparing to SI breed (Figures 3 and 4). No peak yields but just declining was seen after the fifth parity. Decrease after peak in MY, FY and PY by age within calving could also be associated with poor management (Mao et al., 1973).
1500 1000 500 0 -500 Breed: Black-and-White Brown Simmental

Lactation milk yield, kg

-1000 1975

1980

1985

Season

1990

1995

2000

Figure 1: Lactation milk yield by season of calving and breed
4600 4400 Lactation milk yield, kg 4200 4000 3800 3600 3400 3200 0 20 40 60 80 100 Age at calving, month 120 140 160 1 2 3 7 25 8> 20 15 10 5 0 180 4 5 6 40 35 30 Records within parity, %

Figure 2: Lactation milk yield by age at calving within parity for Brown breed

9th Int. Symp. "Animal Science Days", Radenci, Slovenia, Oct. 03-05, 2001 2

Zb. Bioteh. Fak. Univ. Ljub., Kmet. Supl., 31(oktober 2001), 301-307
6500 3 6000 Lactation milk yield, kg 5500 1 5000 4500 4000 3500 1 3000 0 20 40 60 80 100 Age at calving, month 120 140 160 180 2 3 4 5 6 Black-and-White 2 4 5 6 7 8>

7

8>

Simmental

Figure 3: Lactation milk yield by age at calving within parity for Black-and-White and Simmental breed
250 225 Lactation fat yield, kg 200 175 150 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 Black-and-White 3 4 5 6 7 8>

1
125 100 Simmental 0 20 40 60 80 100 Age at calving, month

7

8>

120

140

160

180

Figure 4: Lactation fat yield by age at calving within parity for Black-and-White and Simmental breed
6500 Lactation milk yield, kg 6000 5500 5000 1400 4500 4000 3500 200 220 240 Days in milk 260 280 300 1200 1000 Averages Standard deviation Regression 2000 1800 1600 Standard deviation, kg

Figure 5: Lactation milk yield by lactation length in Black-and-White breed 9th Int. Symp. "Animal Science Days", Radenci, Slovenia, Oct. 03-05, 2001 2

Zb. Bioteh. Fak. Univ. Ljub., Kmet. Supl., 31(oktober 2001), 301-307 Quadratic regression was also applied to accommodate the influence of lactation length (Figure 5). Yields increased with longer lactations, as expected. Termination of lactation before 305th day is usually caused by diseases or injuries. If records under 305 days in lactation were excluded, genetic evaluation could be biased. CONCLUSIONS The systematic influences in 305-lactation yields for Black-and-White, Brown and Simmental breed were studied. Two models were developed. The model for yields considered fixed effects of calving season and parity, as well as age at calving within parity and length of lactation as independent variables. The model for fat and protein content needed to be simpler, and consisted of only calving season and linear regression for age at calving. Therefore, season of calving, parity, age at calving and lactation length were found to be important effects in milk production for all three breeds studied. The fixed part of model described here will be applied in further study of random effects in the model for genetic evaluation of milk traits in Slovenia. REFERENCES
Anderson, R. R. Mammary gland. In: Lactation (Ed.: Larson, B. L.). Ames, The Iowa state university press, 1985, 276 p. Bagnato, A./ Canavesi, F./ Rozzi, P. Effect of parity in age adjustment factors in the Italian Holstein Friesian cattle breed. In: 5th World congress on genetics applied to livestock production, XVII, Guelph, 1994-08-07/12. Guelph, University of Guelph, 1994, 30–33. Bonaiti, B./ Boichard, A./ Barbat, S./ Mattalia, S. Problems arising with genetic trend estimation in dairy cattle. In: Proceedings of the open session of the Interbull annual meeting, Aarhus, 1993-08-19/20, Denmark. Interbull Bulletin, 8(1993). Gorjanc, G./ Malovrh, Š./ Logar, B./ Kovač, M. Napovedovanje plemenskih vrednosti za lastnosti mlečnosti v standardni laktaciji pri govedu (Prediction of breeding values for dairy traits in standard lactation in cattle). In preparation. ICAR. Yearly inquiry on the situation of milk recording in member countries. Results 1998-1997-1996. Paris, International commitee for animal recording, March 2000, 64 p. Interbull. National genetic evaluation programmes for dairy production traits practised in Interbull member countries 1999-2000. Interbull Bulletin, 24(2000), 111 p. Mao, I.L./ Wilton, J.W./ Burnside, E.B. Parity in age adjustment for milk and fat yield. J. Dairy. Sci., 68(1973), 2664–2669. SAS/STAT. User's Guide. Version 6. 4th edition. Vol. 2. Cary, SAS Institute, 1989, 846 p. Wiggans, G.R./ VanRaden, P.M. Effect of including parity-age classes on estimated genetic trend for milk and component yields. J. Dairy Sci., 77(1994), Suppl. 1, 267.

9th Int. Symp. "Animal Science Days", Radenci, Slovenia, Oct. 03-05, 2001 2

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