Genetic Variation in Lactation Means of Somatic Cell Scores for Six Breeds of Dairy Cattle

M. M. Schutz, P. M. VanRaden, G. R. Wiggans

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34 Scopus citations


Lactation means of somatic cell scores from sample days were used to estimate the components of variation for additive genetic, permanent environmental, and herd-sire interaction effects. Data included records of 4314 Ayrshire, 7845 Brown Swiss, 18,115 Guernsey, 1,135,752 Holstein, 67,862 Jersey, and 787 Milking Shorthorn cows from across the US. Records were preadjusted for length of lactation. Fixed effects of herd-year, calving age, and calving month were included in animal models for estimation of variance components. Additive genetic estimates from REML relative to a phenotypic variance of 1.00 were .07 for Ayrshires, .07 for Brown Swiss, .11 for Guernseys, .09 for Holsteins, .09 for Jerseys, and .08 for Milking Shorthorns; permanent environmental estimates were .25, .26, .22, .21, .20, and .35; and herd-sire interaction estimates were .04, .02, .00, .02, .02, and .01. Effects of calving age were similar for all regions of the US but differed for Jerseys and Holsteins. Effects of calving month were similar for all breeds. Cows calving during summer had the highest lactation means for somatic cell score from sample days. Impact of calving month was greatest in the Southeast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-293
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • LSCS
  • SCS
  • arithmetic mean of sample day, Iog-transfonned SCC for a lactation
  • breed
  • breed
  • mastitis
  • sample day, Iog-transformed SCC
  • somatic cell
  • variance component


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