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J Dairy Sci. 2010 May;93(5):2168-75. doi: 10.3168/jds.2009-2050.

Genetic and environmental parameters for milk production, udder health, and fertility traits in Mexican Holstein cows.

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Departamento de Genética y Bioestadística, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510, Distrito Federal, México.


Genetic and phenotypic parameters for Mexican Holstein cows were estimated for first- to third-parity cows with records from 1998 to 2003 (n=2,971-15,927) for 305-d mature equivalent milk production (MEM), fat production (MEF), and protein production (MEP), somatic cell score (SCS), subsequent calving interval (CAI), and age at first calving (AFC). Genetic parameters were obtained by average information matrix-REML methodology using 6-trait (first-parity data) and 5-trait (second- and third-parity data) animal models. Heritability estimates for production traits were between 0.17+/-0.02 and 0.23+/-0.02 for first- and second-parity cows and between 0.12+/-0.03 and 0.13+/-0.03 for third-parity cows. Heritability estimates for SCS were similar for all parities (0.10+/-0.02 to 0.11+/-0.03). For CAI, estimates of heritability were 0.01+/-0.05 for third-parity cows and 0.02+/-0.02 for second-parity cows. The heritability for AFC was moderate (0.28+/-0.03). No unfavorable estimates of correlations were found among MEM, MEF, MEP, CAI, and SCS. Estimates of environmental and phenotypic correlations were large and positive among production traits; favorable between SCS and CAI; slightly favorable between MEM, MEF, and MEP and SCS, between AFC and SCS, and between SCS and CAI; and small but unfavorable between production traits and CAI. Estimates of genetic variation and heritability indicate that selection would result in genetic improvement of production traits, AFC, and SCS. Estimates of both heritability and genetic variation for CAI were small, which indicates that genetic improvement would be difficult.

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