Bayesian analysis of random regression models using B-splines to model test-day milk yield of Holstein cattle in Brazil
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The objective of this paper is to model variations in test-day milk yields of first lactations of Holstein cows by RR using B-spline functions and Bayesian inference in order to fit adequate and parsimonious models for the estimation of genetic parameters. They used 152,145 test day milk yield records from 7317 first lactations of Holstein cows. The model established in this study was additive, permanent environmental and residual random effects. In addition, contemporary group and linear and quadratic effects of the age of cow at calving were included as fixed effects. Authors modeled the average lactation curve of the population with a fourth-order orthogonal Legendre polynomial. They concluded that a cubic B-spline with seven random regression coefficients for both the additive genetic and permanent environment effects was to be the best according to residual mean square and residual variance estimates. Moreover they urged a lower order model (quadratic B-spline with seven random regression coefficients for both random effects) could be adopted because it yielded practically the same genetic parameter estimates with parsimony. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.