Claw health traits and mastitis in breeding of the Czech Holstein cows
Breeding of the Czech Holstein cows is currently aimed to improve the complex of 10 production and functional traits (clinical mastitis as the only direct health trait) and breeding values are estimated for 15 selection criteria (without a direct health candidate). Genomic evaluation of the female dairy population (calves, heifers and cows) has started in the last year in the Czech Republic to enhance the reference populations. To improve health status of the population the overall claw disease incidence as the new breeding objective and three traits indicating the claw health (overall, infectious and non-infectious claw diseases incidence) and clinical mastitis incidence as the new selection criteria of cows were added. Economic weights were calculated for all traits in the breeding objective for two-year-old cows by applying a bio-economic model. General principles of the selection index theory were applied when calculating the selection response in the new as well as in the current breeding objectives. The annual economic weights were -193 and -168 € per case for clinical mastitis and overall claw disease incidence, respectively. Based on the construction of the actual selection index of cows (where i.a. the somatic cells score and udder exterior are included) the slightly favourable selection response in clinical mastitis (-0.001 cases) was recorded. Using the comprehensive health selection index, the incidence of both udder and claw diseases was reduced by 0.004 cases per cow per year. Simultaneously, a favourable selection response was obtained for other functional traits, e.g., 0.024% for cow conception rate and 0.037 years for cow productive life when using the health index for Czech Holstein cows. A direct selection of cows for claw and udder health is recommended to improve the health status of herds and to increase the safety of production and the overall efficiency of production system. The study was supported by project MZE-RO0719 V003 and QK1910320 of the Czech Republic.
Krupa Emil, Ing., Ph.D.
Wolfová Marie, Ing., Ph.D.
Přibyl Josef, Prof. Ing., DrSc.
Zavadilová Ludmila, Ing., CSc.
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