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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Quantitative Genetics

Comparison of methods for handling censored records in beef fertility data: Field data1


This article in

  1. Vol. 82 No. 2, p. 357-361
    Received: May 02, 2003
    Accepted: Sept 29, 2003

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. K. A. Donoghue2,
  2. R. Rekaya3 and
  3. J. K. Bertrand
  1. Animal and Dairy Science Department, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-2771


The purpose of this study was to compare methods for handling censored days to calving records in beef cattle data, and verify results of an earlier simulation study. Data were records from natural service matings of 33,176 first-calf females in Australian Angus herds. Three methods for handling censored records were evaluated. Censored records (records on noncalving females) were assigned penalty values on a within-contemporary group basis under the first method (DCPEN). Under the second method (DCSIM), censored records were drawn from their respective predictive truncated normal distributions, whereas censored records were deleted under the third method (DCMISS). Data were analyzed using a mixed linear model that included the fixed effects of contemporary group and sex of calf, linear and quadratic covariates for age at mating, and random effects of animal and residual error. A Bayesian approach via Gibbs sampling was used to estimate variance components and predict breeding values. Posterior means (PM) (SD) of additive genetic variance for DCPEN, DCSIM, and DCMISS were 22.6d2 (4.2d2), 26.1d2 (3.6d2), and 13.5d2 (2.9d2), respectively. The PM (SD) of residual variance for DCPEN, DCSIM, and DCMISS were 431.4d2 (5.0d2), 371.4d2 (4.5d2), and 262.2d2 (3.4d2), respectively. The PM (SD) of heritability for DCPEN, DCSIM, and DCMISS were 0.05 (0.01), 0.07 (0.01), and 0.05 (0.01), respectively. Simulating trait records for noncalving females resulted in similar heritability to the penalty method but lower residual variance. Pearson correlations between posterior means of animal effects for sires with more than 20 daughters with records were 0.99 between DCPEN and DCSIM, 0.77 between DCPEN and DCMISS, and 0.81 between DCSIM and DCMISS. Of the 424 sires ranked in the top 10% and bottom 10% of sires in DCPEN, 91% and 89%, respectively, were also ranked in the top 10% and bottom 10% in DCSIM. Little difference was observed between DCPEN and DCSIM for correlations between posterior means of animal effects for sires, indicating that no major reranking of sires would be expected. This finding suggests little difference between these two censored data handling techniques for use in genetic evaluation of days to calving.

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