Prospects for increasing profitability using genetic reproductive indexes
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Prospects for Increasing Profitability Using Genetic Reproductive Indexes. 1. Phenotypic trend in days open. Lactation. 2. 3. 4. 5. Two tall tales:. 1. Reproduction is only a management issue 2. Genetics can not help solve fertility problems. Reproductive evaluations.

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Prospects for Increasing Profitability Using Genetic Reproductive Indexes

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Prospects for increasing profitability using genetic reproductive indexes

Prospects for Increasing Profitability Using Genetic Reproductive Indexes


Phenotypic trend in days open

1

Phenotypic trend in days open

Lactation

2

3

4

5


Two tall tales

Two tall tales:

  • 1. Reproduction is only a management issue

  • 2. Genetics can not help solve fertility problems


Reproductive evaluations

Reproductive evaluations

  • Two types:

  • 1. Fertility of bulls as service sires

  • 2. Fertility of bulls’ daughters when they reach breeding age


1 fertility of bull as service sire ercr

1. Fertility of bull as service sire (ERCR)

  • Called Estimated Relative Conception Rate (ERCR). Measures the fertility as a service sire.

  • Defined as 70 day non-return rate.

  • Bulls have a fairly small range because infertile and lower fertility bulls are culled by the AI organizations.

  • See results from decisions quickly


Evaluation accuracy

Evaluation accuracy

  • Bulls need many breedings before confidence can be placed in a 70 day non-return rate

  • This makes it difficult to rely upon the information from a single herd

  • ≥ 40 services in a single herd in a short time by a reliable technician should give you some confidence in a non-return rate


Prospects for increasing profitability using genetic reproductive indexes

Data

  • Breedings included in ERCR:

    • All from AgSource (Wisconsin)

    • All from DRMS (North Carolina)

    • All from Minnesota DHIA through Agri-Tech

  • AIPL assumed responsibility for computing in May 2006

    (DRMS had computed 2x yearly since 1986)


Breedings included in ercr

Breedings included in ERCR

  • First services only

  • Cow services included (but no virgin heifer breedings)

  • Services from most recent 3 years

  • Only services to AI bulls

  • No crossbred matings (service sire breed must equal cow breed)


Evaluations published

Evaluations published

  • Bulls with a minimum of 300 or more breedings

  • Bulls under 13 years (unless Active AI)

  • August 2006 evaluation included:

    • 597 Holstein bulls (Avg no. breedings=2502)

    • 46 Jersey bulls (Avg no. breedings=1204)


Distribution of ercr for holstein bulls august 2006

Distribution of ERCR for Holstein bulls (August 2006)

Number of bulls

ERCR


Distribution of ercr for jersey bulls august 2006

Distribution of ERCR for Jersey bulls (August 2006)

Number of bulls

ERCR


Future plans for service sire fertility evaluations

Future plans for service sire fertility evaluations

  • Use all reported breedings (instead of just first services)

  • Improvements to statistical model

  • Hopefully additional data from other centers and states

    We are expecting to add California DHIA breedings soon


2 fertility of bulls daughters when they reach breeding age dpr

2. Fertility of bulls’ daughters when they reach breeding age (DPR)

  • Called Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR). Measures fertility of the daughters.

  • DPR is defined as percentage of open (non-pregnant) cows that are between 50 and 250 days in milk that become pregnant within 21 days

  • Bulls have somewhat bigger differences than in ERCR

  • Obtain results from decisions in 3 years


Days open and dpr by breed

Days open and DPR by breed

  • Breed Avg. days open Avg DPR (%)

    • Ayrshire 143 22.4

    • Brown Swiss 143 22.4

    • Guernsey 151 20.5

    • Holstein 148 21.2

    • Jersey 127 26.5

    • Milk. Shorthorn 135 24.5

      DPR = 0.25 (2.33 – days open)


High dpr vs active ai holsteins

High DPR vs. Active-AI Holsteins

  • Traits High DPR bulls All Active-AI

    • Milk (lbs)349 824

    • Fat (lbs)14 32

    • Protein (lbs)19 26

    • SCS2.84 2.95

    • Productive Life (mo)4.1 0.8

    • DPR (%)2.3 -0.3

    • Net Merit Dollars359 236

    • # of bulls (DPR ≥ 2.0)24 692


Higher dpr vs high active ai ho

Higher DPR vs. High Active-AI HO

  • Traits Higher DPR bulls High All Active-AI

    • Milk (lbs)748 1142

    • Fat (lbs)28 44

    • Protein (lbs)29 35

    • SCS2.82 2.90

    • Productive Life (mo)4.8 1.8

    • DPR (%)2.3 0.0

    • Net Merit Dollars462 358

    • # of bulls (DPR ≥ 2.0)12 346


Interpretation for fertility

Interpretation for fertility:

  • 1. These better bulls’ daughters are not only over $100 more profitable as shown in Net Merit but will give better fertility as well. Their DPR of +2.3 means their daughters will have 9.2 fewer days open than other cows in the typical herd.

  • 2. Genetics can help solve fertility problems. The 16 day decline in days open from genetics can be recovered with genetic selection.

  • This is a “permanent” gain.


Recommendations to breeders

Recommendations to breeders

  • Don’t select bulls solely on one trait because many traits have economic value

  • Consider economic value of all performance traits in your own market when making genetic choices

  • For herds wanting better reproduction, use an index that puts more weight on daughter fertility than those recommended for the general industry


Thank you

Thank you!

Mid-Atlantic Dairy Grazing Conference, 2006 (19)

2006


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