Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 1989


Published in J Dairy Sci 72:1933-1936. Copyright 1989. Used by permission.


Estimates of genetic correlations were .17 between first lactation milk yield and concurrent calving interval, .10 between second lactation milk yield and first calving interval, and .82 between first and second milk yields. Corresponding phenotypic correlations were .27, .16, and .58. Heritability estimates were .27 and .25 for first and second lactations and .15 for calving interval. Estimates were averages of two samples of 15 New York State herds averaging 144 Al-sired Holstein cows and 30 sires. Milk yields were 305-d, mature equivalent. Calving interval was days between first and second freshening. First milk records without a second freshening were included. Multiple- trait animal model included separate herd-year-season effects for first and second milk yields and calving interval. Numerator relationships among animals within herd, except for daughter-dam relationships, were included. The REML with the expectation-maximization algorithm was used to estimate (co)variance matrices among genetic values and environmental effects for the three traits. Results indicate a need to adjust milk records for the phenotypic effects of current and previous calving interval. The genetic association, however, between fertility and milk yield appears small. Genetic improvement of 450 kg of milk yield may result in 2 added d to first calving interval.