Selection for fertility in dairy cattle
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Selection for Fertility in Dairy Cattle. Factors Affecting Fertility. Environment and management Season, region, herd, age, milk yield Estrus detection and / or synchronization Voluntary waiting period Fertility of bull (ERCR in USA) Genes of cow (Dau. Pregnancy Rate)

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Selection for Fertility in Dairy Cattle

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Selection for fertility in dairy cattle

Selection for Fertility in Dairy Cattle


Factors affecting fertility

Factors Affecting Fertility

  • Environment and management

    • Season, region, herd, age, milk yield

    • Estrus detection and / or synchronization

    • Voluntary waiting period

  • Fertility of bull (ERCR in USA)

  • Genes of cow (Dau. Pregnancy Rate)

  • Interaction of bull’s and cow’s genes

    • Inbreeding, recessives (CVM, DUMPS)


Fertility does not show

Fertility Does Not Show

Paul VanRaden,

1974


For fertility you need data

For Fertility, You Need Data

Paul VanRaden,

1995


Problem cows are less fertile usa holsteins 1965 2000

Problem: Cows Are Less FertileUSA Holsteins 1965-2000

Lactation

5th

4th

3rd

2nd

1st


Coefficients of variation cv standard deviation divided by mean

Coefficients of Variation (CV)Standard deviation divided by mean


Pregnancy rate

Pregnancy Rate

  • The percentage of nonpregnant cows that become pregnant during each 21-day time period

  • Pregnancy rate < conception rate

    • Cows that are not cycling

    • Estrus not expressed or detected

  • Typical pregnancy rates

    • 20% if calving interval is 14.3 months

    • 25% if calving interval is 13.6 months


Pregnancy rate and days open

Pregnancy Rate and Days Open

100

90

80

70

60

Pregnancy Rate

50

40

30

20

10

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

0

60

81

102

123

144

165

186

207

228

249

Number of Chances

Days Open


Sources of fertility data percentages from 1998 1999 records

Sources of Fertility Data Percentages from 1998-1999 records


Distribution of days open holstein calvings 1990 2001

Distribution of Days OpenHolstein Calvings 1990 - 2001

Cows culled for reproductive reasons

≤ 50

≥ 250


Seasonal effects on fertility holsteins calving since 1997 in each usa region

Seasonal Effects on FertilityHolsteins calving since 1997 in each USA region


Usa fertility evaluation

USA Fertility Evaluation

  • Holstein data in evaluation

    • 44 million lactation records since 1960

    • 17 million cows

    • Lactations 1-5 are included

  • Reliability for recently proven bulls

    • 59% REL for Daughter Pregnancy Rate

    • 61% REL for Productive Life

    • 69% REL for Somatic Cell Score

    • 85% REL for Milk Yield


Usa evaluation methods

USA Evaluation Methods

  • Animal model, introduced Feb 2003

    • Same programs as yield, PL, SCS

    • Compare cows within herd, season, and age

    • Convert days open to pregnancy rate = (233 – DO) / 4

  • Parameter estimates used:

    • Heritability = 4%

    • Repeatability = 11%

    • Sire-by-herd interaction = 4%


Recent usa changes november 2003 and november 2004

Recent USA ChangesNovember 2003 and November 2004

  • Earlier evaluation of cow fertility

    • Records in progress used at 130 instead of 250 days in milk

    • Pregnancy exams used in prediction

    • 6% gain in REL of DPR for new bulls

  • Fertility used to predict longevity

    • 4% gain in REL of PL for recent bulls


Selection for longevity

Selection for Longevity

  • Productive Life introduced in USA in 1994 to select for longevity

  • Genetic correlations with other traits:

    • Daughter pregnancy rate = .59

    • Somatic cell score = -.35

    • Udder composite = .30

    • Daughter calving ease = -.24


Holstein pregnancy rate phenotypic and genetic trend 1965 2000

Holstein Pregnancy Rate - Phenotypic and Genetic Trend 1965-2000


Value of cow fertility

Value of Cow Fertility

  • Fertility expenses per day open

    • Heat detection ($20 / lact  .005)= $.10

    • Semen ($15 / unit + $5 labor) *.025= $.50

    • Pregnancy exam ($10 / exam)*.012= $.12

    • Lactations too long or short= $.75

  • Value of DPR as % of total economic value

    • 7% in Net Merit since August 2003

    • 5% in TPI since February 2005, also

    • -2% for dairy form in TPI since February 2005


Response to nm selection percent of single trait response

Response to NM$ SelectionPercent of single trait response


Heritability and correlations among cow fertility traits

Heritability and Correlations Among Cow Fertility Traits

Heritability on diagonal, USA data


Cow fertility traits evaluated in largest holstein populations

Cow Fertility TraitsEvaluated in Largest Holstein Populations


Genetic correlations of traits mark 2003 eaap meeting

Genetic Correlations of Traits Mark, 2003 EAAP meeting


Days open genetic correlations jorjani 2005 interbull bulletin

Days Open Genetic Correlations Jorjani, 2005 Interbull Bulletin

DFS = Denmark-Finland-Sweden


Conception rate genetic correlations jorjani 2005 interbull bulletin

Conception Rate Genetic CorrelationsJorjani, 2005 Interbull Bulletin

DFS = Denmark-Finland-Sweden


Cow fertility of famous bulls august 2005 usa data

Cow Fertility of Famous BullsAugust 2005 USA data


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Fertility traits are less heritable but more variable than yield and type

  • Selection for high yield reduces fertility

  • Selection for longevity increases fertility

  • Cow fertility traits receive 2% to 13% of total selection in many countries

  • Bulls that sire good fertility are available


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