Animal Science Department

 

Date of this Version

January 2007

Comments

Published in Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 90 No. 1, 2007.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to estimate genetic correlations between yield traits of cows treated with bovine somatotropin (bST) and the same yield traits of untreated cows. Lactation records from registered Holstein cows were divided by parity into 3 data sets: 1, 2, and 3 through 5. Approximately 10% of the records in each data set were from cows treated with bST. The numbers of records of treated and untreated cows in the data sets were 4,337 and 48,765; 3,730 and 37,796; and 3,645 and 33,957. Two-trait animal models (records for cows treated or not treated) were used to estimate genetic parameters for milk production traits and somatic cell score (SCS). Estimates of heritability for milk yield for records of treated and untreated cows for the 3 data sets were 0.13, 0.16, and 0.09, and 0.18, 0.18, and 0.14, respectively, with estimates of repeatability of 0.50 and 0.41 for data set 3. Estimates of heritability for fat yield for records of treated and untreated cows were 0.31, 0.16, and 0.12, and 0.27, 0.21, and 0.16. Estimates of repeatability were 0.50 and 0.43 for data set 3. Heritability estimates for protein yield for records of treated and untreated cows were 0.13, 0.17, and 0.12, and 0.20, 0.23, and 0.16, with estimates of repeatability of 0.52 and 0.47. Estimates of heritability for SCS for treated and untreated cows were 0.08, 0.15, and 0.13, and 0.11, 0.13, and 0.13 with repeatability estimates of 0.52 and 0.45. Estimates of genetic correlations between milk yields with and without bST treatment in lactations 1, 2, and 3 to 5 were all 0.99. Estimates of genetic correlations for fat and protein yields were 0.96 for all data sets. Estimates for SCS were 0.99. Estimates of genetic correlations between records of treated and untreated cows were large enough to conclude that records of treated and untreated cows could be considered to be one trait, with treatment as a fixed effect to account for differences in means.

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