The objectives of this study were to predict success or failure at mating (1/0) using information on 168 first lactation dairy cows from the Dexcel Strain Trial. The farmlets were established by allocating heifers from three genetic strains to eleven groups. The groups were managed under a range of feeding systems, ranging from moderate to generous allowances. Measurements were taken on milk, fat and protein yields, liveweight and condition score and variables derived from these used as predictors of success at mating in a series of models. Reproductive measures used for analysis were cows in calf at 42, 49 and 56 days after the planned start of mating. Three statistical methods were used to determine suitable predictive models of success at mating: logistic regression, discriminant analysis and partition analysis. Partition analysis was the best method of prediction. Kappa values, measuring the degree of agreement between observations and predictions ranged between 0.32 and 0.38 for discriminant analysis, 0.41 and 0.44 for logistic regression and 0.70 and 0.74 for partition analysis. The partition analysis produced a set of rules for predicting likely success at mating. Important rules were CS > 4.75 in month three of lactation and calving before week four after the start of calving for the herd.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 63, Queenstown, 112-115, 2003
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