Estimating Milk, Fat, and Protein Lactation Curves with a Test Day Model

T. L. Stanton, L. R. Jones, R. W. Everett, S. D. Kachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Test day models were used to estimate lactation curves for milk, fat, protein, fat percentage, and protein percentage and to study the influence of age, season, and herd productivity on Holstein lactation curves. Random effects of lactation within herd and fixed effects of herd test date were absorbed. Fixed effects of cow's age on test day and either DIM (57 divisions) by parity (1, 2, ≥3) class or season of calving (winter or summer) by DIM by parity class were estimated. Lactation curves for yield traits derived from DIM solutions were flatter for first versus later lactation, even without addition of age effects. Differences between lactation curves for the two seasons were slight, suggesting that most observed seasonal differences are caused by seasonal productivity accounted for by herd test date effects. At peak, winter calving cows yielded slightly more milk of similar fat percentage but of lower protein percentage than those calving in summer. Data were also partitioned into nine subsets based on rolling herd milk and fat percentage. Lactation curves for yield traits, but not percentage traits, varied with rolling herd milk. Lactation curves for fat yield and percentage varied with rolling herd fat percentage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1691-1700
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • RHF
  • RHF%
  • RHM
  • RHP
  • RHP%
  • TD
  • fat percentage
  • lactation curves
  • protein percentage
  • rolling herd fat percentage
  • rolling herd fat yield
  • rolling herd milk yield
  • rolling herd protein percentage
  • rolling herd protein yield
  • test day
  • test day models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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