Research-Article| Volume 72, ISSUE 3, P678-684, March 1989

Estimates of Genetic and Environmental (Co)Variances for First Lactation Milk Yield, Survival, and Calving Interval

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      Variance and covariance components for milk yield, survival to second freshening, and calving interval in first lactation were estimated by REML with the expectation and maximization algorithm for an animal model which included herd-year-season effects. Cows without calving interval but with milk yield were included. Each of the four data sets of 15 herds included about 3000 Holstein cows. Relationships across herds were ignored to enable inversion of the coefficient matrix of mixed model equations. Quadratics and their expectations were accumulated herd by herd. Heritability of milk yield (.32) agrees with reports by same methods. Heritabilities of survival (.11) and calving interval (.15) are slightly larger and genetic correlations smaller than results from different methods of estimation. Genetic correlation between milk yield and calving interval (.09) indicates genetic ability to produce more milk is slightly associated with decreased fertility.


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