Genetic evaluation of the functional productive life in Slovak Simmental cattle
Genetic evaluation of sires based on length of functional productive life of their daughters was carried out using a Weibull proportional hazard sire-maternal grandsire model. The data consisted of 214634 registered Slovak Simmental cows with censoring of 21.34%. Besides the random sire and maternal grandsire effects, the model included time dependent effects parity × stage of lactation interaction, within-herd standard deviations of milk production, herd × year × season interaction, change of herd size with respect to the previous year, and time independent effect age at first calving. Within-herd, the standard deviations of milk production had the most important influence on functional productive life. The highest risk of culling was found in cows with the lowest milk production class (uncompleted lactation). Risk of culling decreased with an increasing milk production class. Estimated heritability of functional productive life was 0.05 on the original scale. Breeding values of sires expressed as a risk ratio of their daughters were between −0.57 and 0.53.