Genetic parameters for level and change of body condition score and body weight in dairy cows

D.P. Berry, F. Buckley, P. Dillon, R.D. Evans, M. Rath, R.F. Veerkamp

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    74 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    (Co)variance components for body condition score (BCS), body weight (BW), BCS change, BW change, and milk yield traits were estimated. The data analyzed included 6646 multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows with records for BCS, BW, and(or) milk yield at different stages of lactation from 74 dairy herds throughout Southern Ireland. Heritability estimates for BCS ranged from 0.27 to 0.37, while those for BCS change ranged from 0.02 to 0.10. Heritability estimates for BW records varied from 0.39 to 0.50, while heritabilities for BW change were similar to those observed for BCS change (0.03 to 0.09). The genetic correlations between BCS and BW at the same days in milk deviated little from 0.50, and the genetic correlations between BCS change and BW change over the same period ranged from 0.42 to 0.55. BCS and BW directly postpartum were both phenotypically and genetically negatively correlated with both BW change and BCS change in early lactation. The genetic correlations between BCS and milk yield were negative. The results of the present study show that animals that lose most BCS in early lactation tend to gain most BCS in late lactation, a trend also exhibited by BW.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2030-2039
    JournalJournal of Dairy Science
    Volume85
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

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