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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Presentation Transcript
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
slide7
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)
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
    • SCS 2.84 2.95
    • Productive Life (mo) 4.1 0.8
    • DPR (%) 2.3 -0.3
    • Net Merit Dollars 359 236
    • # 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
    • SCS 2.82 2.90
    • Productive Life (mo) 4.8 1.8
    • DPR (%) 2.3 0.0
    • Net Merit Dollars 462 358
    • # 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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