Correlated Response of Udder Dimensions to Selection for Milk Yield in Holsteins

M. L. Petersen, L. B. Hansen, C. W. Young, K. P. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Response to selection for milk yield in Holsteins was examined by a controlled selection experiment initiated in 1964. Foundation cows were paired by sire and divided randomly into two breeding groups, selection and control. Selection group was mated to four sires each year highest for Predicted Difference milk. Twenty bulls selected in 1964 as near breed average for milk sired all control cows. Milk yield was recorded for each lactation, and height of udder from ground, distances between teats, and perimeter and area bound by the four teats were measured at 30 to 75 days postpartum on 153 selection and 202 control cows over 14 yr. Most estimates of repeatability and heritability of udder dimensions before and after milking were .45 or larger. Correlations with milk yield were negative for udder height and positive for other udder measurements. Selection cows exceeded controls for lactational milk yield. Daughters of high milk bulls had greater distances between teats, greater perimeters, and larger areas of udder floor. Selection cows did not differ from controls in udder height for first parity but were below controls in udder height and had udders that collapsed more for all parities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-113
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1985

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported partially by the St. Paul Computer Center of the University of Minnesota. The authors acknowledge Robert Nelson, Allan Halversen, James Paulson, David Ziegler, and their assistants for recording udder measurements for individual cows.

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