Milk yield, roughage intake and live weight were measured, while weight change and energy balance were calculated for 334 primiparous cows. Roughage was fed ad libitum, while concentrates was fed on a normal or reduced level independent of yield and roughage intake . Genetic parameters were estimated from a five- trait model, utilizing a REML-algorithm with Canonical and Householder transformations to save computational effort. Large sample standard errors were approximated with numerical differentiation. Separate analyses were conducted for each level of concentrates feeding within six weeks periods postpartum. Roughage intake show maximum heritability just after parturition. Underfed cows showed stronger correlation between roughage intake and milk yield. The ability to consume roughage was genetically highly correlated with live weight.

M. Svendsen, P. Skipenes, I. L Mao

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XIV. Dairy cattle genetics and breeding, adaptation and conservation., , 147–150, 1990
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