Implementation of a routine genetic evaluation for longevity based on survival analysis techniques in dairy cattle populations in Switzerland.
J Dairy Sci 2001 Sep;84(9):2073-80
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Utah State University, Logan 84322, USA.
Genetic evaluation of sires for functional longevity of their daughters based on survival analysis has been implemented in the populations of Braunvieh, Simmental, and Holstein cattle in Switzerland. A Weibull mixed sire-maternal grandsire survival model was used to estimate breeding values of sires with data on cows that calved since April 1, 1980. Data on Braunvieh and Simmental cows included about 1.1 million records, data on Holstein cows comprised about 220,000 records. Data contained approximately 20 to 24% right-censored records and 6 to 9% left-truncated records. Besides the random sire and maternal grandsire effects, the model included effects of herd-year-season, age at first calving, parity, stage of lactation, alpine pasturing (Braunvieh and Simmental), and relative milk yield and relative fat and protein percentage within herd to account for culling for production. Heritability of functional longevity, estimated on a subset of data including approximately 150,000 animals, were 0.181, 0.198, and 0.184 for Braunvieh, Simmental, and Holstein, respectively. Breeding values were estimated for all sires with at least six daughters or three granddaughters in the data. Breeding values of sires are expressed in months of functional productive life and published in sire catalogs along with breeding values for production traits.