Discrete time survival analysis of lamb mortality in a terminal sire composite population

B. R. Southey, S. L. Rodriguez-Zas, K. A. Leymaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mortality records of 8,642 lambs from a composite population at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center during the first year of life were studied using discrete survival analyses. Lamb mortality was studied across periods from birth to weaning, birth to 365 d of age, and weaning to 365 d of age. Animal - time data sets were created for each period using different time intervals: daily, weekly, fortnightly, and monthly. Each data set was analyzed using logistic and complementary log-log sire, animal, and maternal effects models. Explanatory variables included in the models were duration of time interval, sex, type of birth, contemporary group, age of dam, and type of upbringing (nursery or not). Similar estimates of explanatory variables were obtained within the same period across models and different time intervals. Heritability estimates from the complementary log-log models were greater than those from the comparable logistic models because of the difference in variance of the respective link functions. Heritability estimates from the complementary log-log sire model ranged from 0.13 to 0.21 for all periods. These estimates were greater than the complementary log-log animal model estimates that ranged from 0.04 to 0.12. Maternal effects were important early in life, with the maternal heritability slightly greater than the direct additive heritability. Negative correlations (-0.72 to -0.65) between direct additive and maternal effects was estimated. The similarity of results among survival analysis methods demonstrates that the discrete methodology is a viable alternative to estimate variance components in livestock survival data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1399-1405
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Analysis
  • Heritability
  • Mortality
  • Sheep
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Discrete time survival analysis of lamb mortality in a terminal sire composite population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this