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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - BREEDING AND GENETICS

Simulation study of teat score in first-parity Gelbvieh cows: Parameter estimation1


This article in

  1. Vol. 81 No. 12, p. 2959-2963
    Received: Apr 28, 2003
    Accepted: Aug 14, 2003

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. R. L. Sapp2,
  2. R. Rekaya and
  3. J. K. Bertrand
  1. Animal and Dairy Science Department, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-2771


Teat scores from 9,598 first-parity Gelbvieh cows were used to investigate the adequacy of grouping approaches to decrease score misclassifications or inconsistencies as well as to simplify the data collection process. The procedure was tested using simulated data and then validated using teat score records of Gelbvieh cattle. First-parity cows were considered to be 4 yr of age or younger at first calving, did not have multiple records within 280 d, and were at least 50% Gelbvieh. Producers scored cows within 24 h of parturition. Teat score, a subjective measure of teat size, ranged from 0 (very large) to 50 (very small). A linear mixed model that included herd-year, month of calving, and age at calving as systematic effects; regression on the percentage of Gelbvieh; and additive breeding values (BV) and residual as random effects was used to generate the data. Simulated data were analyzed using one of three scoring methods: all values (S50), 10 classes (S10), and five classes (S5). The 10 classes were formed by subdividing every five scores into a single class starting at score zero. Similarly, the five classes were formed by combining every 10 scores into one class. The average Pearson correlations, based on five replicates, between the true and estimated BV (systematic effects) were 0.36 (0.85), 0.35 (0.89), and 0.32 (0.87) using S50, S10, and S5, respectively. Average correlations between estimated BV (systematic effects) were 0.97 (0.95), 0.89 (0.92), and 0.92 (0.97) based on S50 and S10, S50 and S5, and S10 and S5, respectively. Field data were used to validate the simulation procedure. The field data were categorized into 10 classes (F10) and five classes (F5) as described for the simulated data. Pearson correlations between estimated BV (systematic effects) were 0.99 (0.93), 0.93 (0.88), and 0.93 (0.96), based on F50 with F10, F50 with F5, and F10 with F5, respectively. The extremely high correlations between predicted BV based on S50, S10, S5, F50, F10, with F5 suggest that a simplified score classification method could be adopted without compromising the expected genetic progress for the trait under consideration. Furthermore, the difference in corresponding Pearson correlations across the field and simulated data might suggest the presence of some inconsistencies or misclassifications of the actual scoring system.

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