Date of this Version
J. Anim. Sci. 2006. 84:20–24.
Field data from Australian Angus herds were used to investigate 2 methods of analyzing uncertain binary responses for success or failure at first insemination. A linear mixed model that included herd, year, and month of mating as fixed effects; unrelated service sire, additive animal, and residual as random effects; and linear and quadratic effects of age at mating as covariates was used to analyze binary data. An average gestation length (GL) derived from artificial insemination data was used to assign an insemination date to females mated to natural service sires. Females that deviated from this average GL led to uncertain binary responses. Two analyses were carried out: 1) a threshold model fitted to uncertain binary data, ignoring uncertainty (M1); and 2) a threshold model fitted to uncertain binary data, accounting for uncertainty via fuzzy logic classification (M2). There was practically no difference between point estimates obtained from M1 and M2 for service sire and herd variance; however, when uncertain binary data were analyzed ignoring uncertainty (M1), additive variance and heritability estimates were greater than with M2. Pearson correlations indicated that no major re-ranking would be expected for service sire effects and animal breeding values using M1 and M2. Given the results of the current study, a threshold model contemplating uncertainty is suggested for noisy binary data to avoid bias when estimating genetic parameters.