A New Idea in Animal Science: The First Application of the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) Model in Selection of the Best Dairy Cow

Document Type : Research/Original Article


Department of Animal Science, Birjand University, Birjand, Iran


The final goal of all dairy cow raising systems in the world is to use the available capacities and the cooperation of other sectors in order to solve the problems and issues, such as the limitations in time, man power and financial resources, for providing a complete answer. Therefore, the need for optimization of cow raising systems by prioritization of measures and plans is the most obvious challenge before experts and farmers working in the field of raising dairy cow. This paper is focused on introduction and analysis of the AHP as one of the renowned methods of multiple criteria decision making for the prioritization of selection of dairy cow. The present paper has for the first time in the world used the AHP approach and Expert Choice11.1 software to animal of production.Using expert opinions in the present study, the selection of the best dairy cow from among the 10 Holstein cows being studied was done according to priorities.The dairy cows tested in this study were all 4 years old and had completed 2 full parities of milking of 305 days. They were in the third parity period. At the end, dynamic and sensitivity analysis was performed to clarify the final sensitivity of the decision in the judgments. Based on produced results for criteria such as milk production rate, % of milk fat, % of milk protein, milk somatic cell counts (SCC) and animal body weight (kg) respectively, with priority vectors of 0.437, 0.234, 0.134, 0.090 and 0.104 were known the priorities needed by the experts. Afterwards, data was collected by questionnaires analyzed by the Expert Choice 11.1 software (Expert Choice Inc., 1986). The best dairy cow defined according to high milk production rate, suitable fat content, protein content, milk somatic cell counts and body weight. Then, by AHP were calculated priority vectors of the dairy cows: A (0.099), B (0.101), C (0.098), D (0.096), E (0.095), F (0.102), G (0.120), H (0.73), I (0.107), J (0.109). Therefore, by recording and Delphi methods and also, according to traits priority vectors, was selected dairy cow G as the best cow in the study.So the AHPwill be very useful in future in animal science.


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Volume 5, Issue 3 - Serial Number 3
September 2015
Pages 553-559
  • Receive Date: 11 March 2014
  • Revise Date: 17 May 2014
  • Accept Date: 31 May 2014
  • First Publish Date: 01 September 2015