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J Dairy Sci. 1992 Feb;75(2):580-9.

Comparison of alternative diphasic lactation curve models under bovine somatotropin administration.

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Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


The multiphasic logistic function has recently been proposed as a model for lactation curves in dairy cattle. The applicability of several forms of this function was examined under three levels of recombinant bST administration beginning 100 d postpartum. Lactation curve models were fit to mean daily yields for each of the treatment groups and a control group. The traditional diphasic function was unable to model adequately the steep ascent and early peak in daily milk yield occurring immediately after calving in both treatment and control groups. The early portion of the lactation was more appropriately modeled using a diphasic function with a power transformation of time in the first phase, such that this phase became asymmetric. This modified diphasic function also resulted in smaller residuals and less autocorrelation than the triphasic function, which was used as a reference model, when both models were applied to the control group data. The increase in daily milk yield because of bST administration was modeled by the addition of a term consisting of a rising exponential function. Such a model may be useful for examining dosage effects in long-term bST studies in which injections begin in midlactation or later. Time series procedures reduced autocorrelation among residuals in both the control and treatment groups, and such models could be useful for removing autocorrelation in lactation curve applications that involve daily or weekly yield observations.

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