Daughter yield deviations (DYDs) of bulls and yield deviations (YDs) of cows, besides estimated breeding values (EBVs), are standard measures of animals' genetic merits in routine genetic evaluations worldwide. In this contribution, we first point out differences and similarities between DYDs and EBVs calculated for milk, fat and protein yields. While the latter measure represents the additive polygenic value of an animal, the former consists of both the additive polygenic and residual components. Then, a summary of DYDs and YDs calculated for the Polish population of dairy cattle is presented. The estimated correlations between DYDs and EBVs are generally high, but vary considerably depending on the minimum number of daughters used for calculation of DYDs and on the accuracy of calculated DYDs. Using DYDs estimated for each production year for 16 452 bulls, we demonstrate how to use DYDs for the validation of genetic trend estimated in the model used for genetic evaluation. Based on genotypic data of 252 bulls, we show that DYDs can be used for the estimation of candidate gene effects. For each of the yield traits, the within-bull genetic trend was relatively high, ranging between 1.39% of genetic standard deviation per production year for milk and 7.67% of genetic standard deviation per production year for fat, both in the 2nd lactation. Out of 8 polymorphisms tested, 5 showed a significant correlation with DYD, with the highest effect attributed to the polymorphism within the leptin receptor gene, whose additive effect was estimated as 247.33 kg of milk at 2nd parity.