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  1. Vol. 83 No. 12, p. 2736-2742
     
    Received: May 12, 2005
    Accepted: Aug 01, 2005
    Published:


    1 Corresponding author(s): krobbin1@uga.edu
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doi:10.2527/2005.83122736x

Joint longitudinal modeling of age of dam and age of animal for growth traits in beef cattle

  1. K. R. Robbins1,
  2. I. Misztal and
  3. J. K. Bertrand
  1. Animal & Dairy Science Department, The University of Georgia, Athens 30602-2771

Abstract

Two methods to jointly model age of dam (AOD) and age of animal in random regression analyses of growth in Gelbvieh cattle were examined. The first method (M1) was analogous to the multiple-trait analysis and consisted of AOD as a nested class variable and a cubic polynomial regression on age nested within birth, weaning, and yearly weights. The second method (M2) used two-dimensional splines, with age knots at 150, 205, 270, 340, and 390 d. The AOD knots were placed at 725, 1,464, and 2,189 d. These selected knots were used to form a two-dimensional grid containing 15 knots, each representing a specific age and AOD combination. A data set containing Gelbvieh growth records was split along contemporary groups into two data sets. Data set 1 contained 316,078 records and was used for prediction by mixed-model equations. Data set 2 contained 164,167 records and was used for cross validation. In the complete data set, only 90 and 30% of animals with birth weight had records on weaning and yearling weights, respectively. Models were evaluated based on R2, average squared error (ASE), percent bias, and plots of solutions. The ASE for weights associated with birth weight, weaning weight, and yearling weight for M1 were 15, 505, and 703 kg2. With M2, large jumps in fixed-effect estimates were observed outside the two-dimensional grid. To eliminate this problem, weighted one-dimensional splines were used for extrapolation beyond the two-dimensional grid. For M2 with weighted spline extrapolation, the ASE were 15, 542, and 777 kg2 for birth weight, weaning weight, and yearling weight, respectively. Creation of optimal two-dimensional splines is difficult when data are clustered. Despite such difficulties, the two-dimensional spline was capable of jointly and continuously modeling AOD and age of animal.

Copyright © 2005. Copyright 2005 Journal of Animal Science