Genetic and non genetic effects for lactation curve traits in Holstein-Friesian cows
The objective of this study was to determine the genetic and non genetic effects on lactation curve traits determined by the incomplete gamma function of Wood (1967) for Holstein-Friesian cows in Morocco. Data analysed included 49262 monthly records of the test-day milk yield from 4888 lactations of 3932 cows at their 1st, 2nd or 3rd parity collected during 1990 and 1999 in 232 herds enrolled in the official milk recording. In general, lactation curve traits (A, B, C, peak time [T max], peak milk yield [Y max], persistency and 305 day milk yield [MY305]) were affected by herd, parity, age at calving, season of calving and year of calving. Heritability estimates were low and varied from 0.01 for parameter A to 0.10 for Y max. Genetic and phenotypic correlations among traits varied from −0.79 to 1.00 and from −0.80 to 0.96, respectively. Genetic correlations between MY305 and parameter C were negative, but those between MY305 and all the other lactation curve traits were positive. It was concluded that selection for high peak milk yield and persistency will result in higher 305 day milk yield.