This study explored the ability of an existing lifetime nutrient partitioning model for simulating individual variability in genetic potentials of dairy cows. Generally, the model assumes a universal trajectory of dynamic partitioning of priority between life functions and genetic scaling parameters are then incorporated to simulate individual difference in performance. Data of 102 cows including 180 lactations of 3 breeds: Danish Red, Danish Holstein, and Jersey, which were completely independent from those used previously for model development, were used. Individual cow performance records through sequential lactations were used to derive genetic scaling parameters for each animal by calibrating the model to achieve best fit, cow by cow. The model was able to fit individual curves of body weight, and milk fat, milk protein, and milk lactose concentrations with a high degree of accuracy. Daily milk yield and dry matter intake were satisfactorily predicted in early and mid lactation, but underpredictions were found in late lactation. Breeds and parities did not significantly affect the prediction accuracy. The means of genetic scaling parameters between Danish Red and Danish Holstein were similar but significantly different from those of Jersey. The extent of correlations between the genetic scaling parameters was consistent with that reported in the literature. In conclusion, this model is of value as a tool to derive estimates of genetic potentials of milk yield, milk composition, body reserve usage, and growth for different genotypes of cow. Moreover, it can be used to separate genetic variability in performance between individual cows from environmental noise.
- repeated reproductive-cycles
- lactating cow
- holstein cows
Phuong, H. N., de Boer, I. J. M., Schmidely, P., Friggens, N. C., & Martin, O. (2015). Deriving estimates of individual variability in genetic potentials of performance traits for 3 dairy breeds, using a model of lifetime nutrient partitioning. Journal of Dairy Science, 98(1), 618-632. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2014-8250