Genotype by environment interaction for production, somatic cell score, workability, and conformation traits in Dutch Holstein-Friesian cows between farms with or without grazing

M. van der Laak, M.L. van Pelt, G. de Jong, H.A. Mulder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, genotype by environment interaction was investigated for production traits, somatic cell score (SCS), workability traits, and conformation traits for Holstein-Friesian cows producing on farms with or without grazing in the Netherlands. Additionally, heritabilities and repeatabilities were estimated in both farm systems. Data were available for 1,019 Dutch farms, and farm type was known for those farms, 142 farms without grazing and 877 farms with grazing. The data set consisted of 428,600 test-day records for production from 49,412 cows, and from this data set a subset for SCS was created, consisting of 374,734 test-day records from 45,955 cows. For workability and conformation traits, the data set consisted of 30,180 cows. Bivariate mixed models with multiple fixed effects and random sire and random permanent environment effects were applied. The majority of sires had daughters in both farm types. The heritabilities for milk yield (0.27), fat yield (0.19), and protein yield (0.20) were higher in farms with grazing than in farms without grazing with heritabilities of 0.24 for milk yield, 0.18 for fat yield, and 0.18 for protein yield. Repeatability was lower in the grazing farms for milk yield, fat yield, and protein yield, probably because of alternating quality of dry matter intake during grazing. Genetic correlations between grazing and no grazing were 0.99, 0.98, 0.97, and 1.00 for milk yield, fat yield, protein yield, and SCS, respectively. Genetic correlations for workability traits and conformation traits between grazing and no grazing varied between 0.93 and 1.00. For all traits, genetic correlations were close to unity, indicating no genotype by environment interaction between farms with or without grazing for production traits, SCS, workability traits, and conformation traits in Dutch Holstein-Friesians. Therefore, the same sires can be used for both farms with grazing and without grazing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4496-4503
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume99
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Conformation
  • Genotype by environment interaction
  • Grazing
  • Milk production

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