Genetic evaluation of age at first calving for Guzerá beef cattle using linear, threshold, and survival Bayesian models

Lais C. Brito, Joaquim Casellas, Luis Varona, Paulo S. Lopes, Henrique T. Ventura, Maria Gabriela C.D. Peixoto, Sirlene F. Lázaro, Fabyano F. Silva

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2 Citations (Scopus)


© The Author(s) 2018. Age at first calving (AFC) is characterized as a censored trait due to missing values provided by recording mistakes and nonoccur-rence or delay in calving communication. In this context, we aimed to compare several statistical methods for genetic evaluation of AFC in Guzerá beef cattle under a Bayesian approach. Seven different methods were used for this purpose. The traditional linear mixed model (LM), which considers only uncensored records; the LM with simulated records (SM), which is based on data augmentation framework; the penalty method, in which a constant of 21 d was added to censored records; the bivariate threshold-linear method considering (TLcens) or not (TLmiss) censored information; and the piecewise Weibull proportional hazards model considering (PWPHcens) or not (PWPH) censored records. Heritability estimates ranged from 0.19 (TLcens) to 0.28 (SM) in non-survival approaches; and 0.40 and 0.46 to PWPH and PWPHcens methods, respectively. In general, breeding values correlations between different methods and the percentage of selected bulls in common indicated reranking, with these correlation ranging from −0.28 (between SM and PWPH) to 0.99 (between TLmiss and LM). The traditional LM, which considers only uncensored records, should be preferred due to its robustness and simplicity. Based on cross-validation analyses, we conclude that the TLmiss could be also a suitable alternative for breeding value prediction, and censored methods did not improve the analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2517-2524
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Beef cattle
  • Censored data
  • Survival analysis
  • Threshold-linear models


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