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Research article2001Peer reviewed

Genetic and environmental correlations among female fertility traits, and between the ability to show oestrus and milk production in dairy cattle

Roxström, Anki; Strandberg, Erling; Berglund, Britt; Emanuelson, Ulf; Philipsson, Jan


Genetic and environmental correlations were estimated both between the ability to show oestrus and milk production, and among different fertility traits (heat-intensity score, number of days between consecutive inseminations, number of inseminations per service period, interval between calving and first or last insemination, and interval between first and last insemination). Milk production was measured as the average of the energy-corrected milk yield on second and third monthly test days. The number of records were approximately 450000, 350000, 180000 and 75000 in the heifer period, first, second and third lactations, respectively. A linear, trivariate model that included the effects of herd-year, year, month, age and cow's sire was applied. The results indicated that further selection for increased milk production is not expected to deteriorate heat intensity. The number of days between calving and first insemination, the number of inseminations and the heat intensity were complementary, and can be recommended for a selection index for fertility.


dairy cows; genetic parameters; heat intensity; heifer period; milk yield; reproduction

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science
2001, Volume: 51, number: 3, pages: 192-199