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The relationship between fertility, rump and other type traits in Holstein Friesian cows

  • E. Wall (a1), I. M. S. White (a2), M. P. Coffey (a1) and S. Brotherstone (a1) (a2)

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Cattle breeders, farmers and vets believe that the decline in fertility seen in recent years can be partially attributed to changes in rump angle with selection being for more angular cows. This suggests that animals with pin bones that sit above the hip bones (high rump angle) will have poorer fertility. Few studies have shown a significant relationship between fertility and rump traits. This study investigates the popular belief that high rump angle equates to poor fertility by examining the genetic and phenotypic correlation between rump angle and fertility traits. The relationship between rump angle and fertility was also examined to see if there was an intermediate optimum or threshold of rump angle for good/bad fertility. The correlation of other type traits (udder and composite traits) with fertility was also examined to see if they had potential to add information to the estimation of fertility breeding values.

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Groeneveld, E., Kovac, M. and Wang, T. 1990. PEST, a general purpose BLUP package for multivariate prediction and estimation. Proc. 4th World Congr Genet. Appl. Livest. Prod. Edinburgh, Scotland XIII: 488491.
Neumaier, A. and Groeneveld, E. 1998. Restricted maximum likelihood estimation of covariance in sparse linear model. Genetics Selection, Evolution 42: 326.
Veerkamp, R. F., Koenen, E. P. C. and de Jong, G. 2001. Genetic correlations among body condition score, yield, and fertility in first-parity cows estimated by random regression models. J. Dairy Sci. 42: 2327 – 2335.

The relationship between fertility, rump and other type traits in Holstein Friesian cows

  • E. Wall (a1), I. M. S. White (a2), M. P. Coffey (a1) and S. Brotherstone (a1) (a2)

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