Udder and Claw-Related Health Traits in Selection of Czech Holstein Cows

Zuzana Krupová, Ludmila Zavadilová, Marie Wolfová, Emil Krupa, Eva Kašná, Petr Fleischer
2019 Annals of Animal Science  
The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of the implementation of new health traits into the breeding objective and selection criteria for Czech Holstein cows on the genetic selection response in the breeding objective traits. Incidence of overall claw diseases was included into the current breeding objective for cows (11 traits together). Three traits that indicated claw health (incidence of claw diseases overall and infectious and non-infectious claw diseases) and incidence of
more » ... al mastitis were successively added to the current selection criteria in a cow selection index (a maximum of 19 traits). Selection responses in the breeding objective traits were estimated by applying the general principles of the selection index theory. The required genetic variances for the new traits, the economic weights for all breeding objective traits and the genetic correlations among the selection index traits were estimated within this study. The marginal economic weights, which were calculated for two-year-old cows by applying a bioeconomic model with implemented gene flow, were -193 and -168 € per case for clinical mastitis and overall claw disease incidence, respectively. Using the comprehensive selection index with 19 traits, the reduction in the incidence of both udder and claw diseases was calculated to be 0.004 cases per cow per year. At the same time, a more favourable genetic selection response was obtained for other functional traits, e.g., +0.020% for cow conception rate and +0.010 years for productive life of cow (which represented the profit of 67 € and 367 € per herd and per year, respectively) when compared to the current index. Based on this study, a direct selection of cows for claw and udder health is nowadays recommended to improve the health status of herds and economics in production systems.
doi:10.2478/aoas-2019-0037 fatcat:lctn65y5xbbq5np63fdqkz4a3q