Culling reasons in Czech dairy cattle
Resilience as the ability of cow to maintain the performance despite various disturbances is reflected by her longevity. A high proportion of involuntary culling indicates an inefficient use of animal resources, which oppose sustainable dairy production. In the Czech Republic, two major breeds are used for milk production: Czech Fleckvieh (C, dual purpose) and Holstein (H) cattle. Their average milk production was 7,767 kg of milk per lactation in C and 10,254 kg in H in 2020. Our aim was to analyse the causes of culling in both breeds in cows born between 2000–2015. The data were retrieved from the central performance recording database (Plemdat, s.r.o.). They included 826,444 records of C and 1,202,472 H cows. The culling codes included termination of milk recording (H3%, C6%), low production (H8%, C14%), other causes (poor exterior, temperament, milkability; H5%, C4%), high age (H1%, C1%), udder diseases (C9%, H9%), fertility disorders (H21%, C20%), difficult calving (H11%, C9%) and other health resons (foot&legs disorders, metabolic disorders, injuries, infections; C37%, H43%). The culling patterns were similar in both breeds, with the exception of low production (higher proportion in C) and other health reasons (higher proportion in H). The most frequent specified causes (difficult calving DC, fertility disorders F, and udder diseases U) were analysed with single trait animal model, which included fixed effects of herd, year-season of the last calving, number of the last parity (1st-6th and later), age at first calving (21-35 months) and random effects of animal and residuum. The analysis showed, that later parities were associated with higher proportion of culling due to DC and U, but lower proportion of culling due to F. The higher age at first calving was associated with lower proportion of culling due to DC, F and U. These traits had a genetic component, expressed in heritability of 0.01 (DC, U) and 0.02 (F). The significant Spearman rank correlations were found between sires based on breeding values for retained placenta and DC or F, for metritis and DC, and for clinical mastitis and U, indicating genetic correlation between traits. The study was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic, project QK22020280 and institutional support MZE-RO0718.
|Projekt||Využití genomické selekce pro optimalizaci resilience dojeného skotu, Dlouhodobý koncepční rozvoj výzkumné organizace|
|Oddělení||Genetika a šlechtění hospodářských zvířat|
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