Skip to main content Accessibility help

Non-parametric lactation curves

  • D. A. Elston (a1), C. A. Glasbey (a1) and D. R. Neilson (a2)


Lactation curves are fitted to data as a preliminary to estimating summary statistics. Two widely quoted curves are atbe-ct (Wood, 1967) and a(1 - e-bt) - ct (Cobby and Le Du, 1978), each of which has three parameters. Restriction to either of these curves imposes limitations on the fit to the data and can result in biased estimation of summary statistics. Alternatively, lactation curves can be generated by the use of a non-parametric method which requires only weak assumptions about the signs of derivatives of the curves. Because the non-parametric curves are more flexible, estimates of summary statistics are less likely to be biased than those based on parametric models. Use of the non-parametric curves is particularly advantageous around the time of peak yield, where the curves of Wood and Cobby and Le Du are known to fit data poorly.



Hide All
Cobby, J. M. and Le Du, Y. L. P. 1978. On fitting curves to lactation data. Animal Production 26: 127133.
Glasbey, C. A. 1987. Tolerance-distribution-free analyses of quantal dose-response data. Applied Statistics 36: 251259.
Glasbey, C. A. 1988. Examples of regression with serially correlated errors. The Statistician 37: 277291.
Goodall, E. A. and Sprevak, D. 1985. A Bayesian estimation of the lactation curve of a dairy cow. Animal Production 40: 189193.
Johnson, E. G. and Routledge, R. D. 1985. The line transect method: a nonparametric estimator based on shape restrictions. Biometrics 41: 669679.
Madsen, O. 1975. A comparison of some suggested measures of persistency of milk yield in dairy cows. Animal Production 20: 191197.
Neilson, D. R., Whittemore, C. T., Lewis, M., Alliston, J. C., Roberts, D. J., Hodgson-jones, L. S., Mills, J., Parkinson, H. and Prescott, J. H. D. 1983. Production characteristics of high-yielding dairy cows. Animal Production 36: 321334.
Numerical Algorithms Group. 1987. Fortran Library Manual, Mark 12. Numerical Algorithms Group, Oxford.
Rowlands, G. J., Lucey, S. and Russell, A. M. 1982. A comparison of different models of the lactation curve in dairy cattle. Animal Production 35: 135144.
Wood, P. D. P. 1967. Algebraic model of the lactation curve in cattle. Nature, London 216: 164165.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Non-parametric lactation curves

  • D. A. Elston (a1), C. A. Glasbey (a1) and D. R. Neilson (a2)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.