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A frailty modeling approach for parental effects in animal breeding

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Survival models involving frailties are commonly applied in studies where correlated event time data arise due to natural or artificial clustering. In this paper we present an application of such models in the animal breeding field. Specifically, a mixed survival model with a multivariate correlated frailty term is proposed for the analysis of data from over 3611 Brazilian Nellore cattle. The primary aim is to evaluate parental genetic effects on the trait length in days that their progeny need to gain a commercially specified standard weight gain. This trait is not measured directly but can be estimated from growth data. Results point to the importance of genetic effects and suggest that these models constitute a valuable data analysis tool for beef cattle breeding.
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Keywords: correlated times; frailty; growth curve; random effects; survival

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Statistics, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil 2: Department of Exact Science, University of Sao Paulo, Piracicaba, Brazil

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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