Fertility is a heritable trait in dairy cattle. Bull proofs for daughter fertility have been available for over 10 years in several other European countries, but despite the steady and well documented decline in fertility in the UK dairy herd, no fertility index has, as yet, been published in this country. To provide fertility proofs for the UK we have analysed a range of available fertility data, including calving interval, traits derived from insemination records, and traits genetically correlated with fertility, including production traits and body condition score. From these data we will calculate bull fertility proofs that are expected to be published in 2003, and to be routinely available from then on, alongside other proofs. The use of these proofs in the selection of bulls for breeding purposes will lead to a reduction in the rate of loss of fertility while allowing continued improvement in yield. The use of appropriate economic values for fertility in an overall index will allow suitable emphasis to be placed on fertility to optimise profitability.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|
- body condition score dairy-cattle endocrine parameters genetic correlations calving interval milk-production cows traits disease health