RZ -breeding success for health made in Germany
For the first time, German breeding organizations for the Holstein and Red Holstein cattle bring into use direct genomic health breeding values. According to these new relative genomic breeding values sires can be pointed out that inherit their resilience to their offspring. Animal health within the herd can be improved rapidly, effectively and accurately without missing performance.
The official breeding values for direct health traits for the Holstein breed will be published from now on, divided into five categories:
- RZudderfit with traits on clinical and subclinical mastitis
- RZhoof with traits on hoof diseases
- RZmetabol with traits for metabolic diseases
- RZrepro with traits for reproduction disorders
- RZhealth as total breeding value, in which all four values are weighted according to their economic importance
The genomic breeding values are estimated with a reliability between 50 % and 60 % what is particularly high for health traits, showing the excellent quality of data and German breeding value estimation.
- RZudderfit 40 %
- RZhoof 30 %
- RZrepro 20 %
- RZmetabol 10 %
Mastitis still is the disease with the greatest economical impact. A clinical infection of mastitis during early lactation may cost up to 400 € to 600 € per animal for treatment and loss of milk revenue. Subclinical mastitis (diagnosed by increased somatic cells) costs up to 200 € per animal. Using the new genomic breeding value RZudderfit, the incidence of mastitis can now easily be reduced. The worldwide unique combination of health data representing early and late diseases and culling reasons shows exceptional positive effects: the reliability is 61 %! Focusing of RZudderfit during selection decisions the incidence of mastitis within herds can be decreased accurately and rapidly.
Milk performance is on healthy feet and that is what the new breeding value RZhoof stands for. This breeding value combines six important claw diseases with different weightings according to their economical impact:
- Dermatitis digitalis (Mortellaro) 30 %
- Sole ulcer 15 %
- Panaritium 15 %
- White line defect 15 %
- Laminitis 15 %
- Limax/Hyperplasia interdigitalis 10 %
The strong weighting of Mortellaro is no coincidence because the infectious disease currently spreads among herds. The RZhoof breeding value completes the actual breeding value DDcontrol by adding additional important traits for claw health. Consideration of the RZhoof breeding value during mating decisions is a positive step towards healthier feet within the herd. The reliability of the genomic RZhoof breeding value estimation is 51 %.
- Oestrus cycle disorders (e.g. cysts) 50 %
- Uterine infection 25 %
- Placental retention 25 %
dwell timethat is part of the relative breeding value daughter fertility (RZR) and therefore breeding efforts have already been undertaken. Data concerning the health features Uterine infection and Placental retention have not been sampled until yet – that’s a benefit of the new genomic relative breeding value RZrepro. Thanks to the new RZrepro and the data processed in it a focused selection breeding for fertile cattle is now possible. The reliability of the genomic breeding value estimation is 52 % what is very high for traits with low heritability.
- Abomasal displacement 50 %
- Milk fever (Hypocalcemia) 25 %
- Ketosis 25 %