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J Dairy Sci. 1997 Oct;80(10):2550-6.

Comparison of possible covariates for use in a random regression model for analyses of test day yields.

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Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, ON, Canada.


Random regression models have been proposed for the genetic evaluation of dairy cattle using test day records. Random regression models contain linear functions of fixed and random coefficients and a set of covariates to describe the shapes of lactation curves for groups of cows and for individual cows. Previous work has used a linear function of five covariates to describe lactation shape. This study compared the function of five covariates with a function of only three covariates in three random regression models. Comparisons of estimates of components of variances and covariances, as well as comparisons of EBV and their prediction errors for milk yield, were made among models. Small practical differences existed between models in all respects. The model using regressions with five covariates had a slight advantage for comparison of prediction error variances of daily yields.

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