Implementation of Ketosis breeding value in Italian Holstein

Authors

  • Jan-Thijs van Kaam Associazione Nazionale Allevatori della razza Frisona e Jersey Italiana, Via Bergamo 292, 26100, Cremona (CR), Italy
  • Giulio Visentin Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Veterinarie, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064, Ozzano dell’Emilia (BO), Italy
  • Anna Fabris Associazione Nazionale Allevatori della razza Frisona e Jersey Italiana, Via Bergamo 292, 26100, Cremona (CR), Italy
  • Ferdinando Galluzzo Associazione Nazionale Allevatori della razza Frisona e Jersey Italiana, Via Bergamo 292, 26100, Cremona (CR), Italy
  • Raffaella Finocchiaro Associazione Nazionale Allevatori della razza Frisona e Jersey Italiana, Via Bergamo 292, 26100, Cremona (CR), Italy
  • Maurizio Marusi Associazione Nazionale Allevatori della razza Frisona e Jersey Italiana, Via Bergamo 292, 26100, Cremona (CR), Italy
  • Martino Cassandro Associazione Nazionale Allevatori della razza Frisona e Jersey Italiana, Via Bergamo 292, 26100, Cremona (CR), Italy; Dipartimento di Agronomia, Animali, Alimenti, Risorse naturali e Ambiente, Università degli Studi di Padova, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020, Legnaro (PD), Italy

Abstract

An increase of circulating ketone bodies is associated, particularly at the onset of the lactation, with (sub)clinical ketosis, which may reduce cows’ health, production and increase culling rate. The aim of the current research was to develop a genetic evaluation for subclinical ketosis for Holstein dairy cattle using data routinely available from the national milk recording system and linear type classification. For this breeding value three traits were considered: 1) β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), 2) fat-to-protein ratio (FPR), both measured during routine milk recording, and 3) linear body condition score (BCS) measured by a classifier. Both FPR and BCS were used as indicator traits for subclinical ketosis. Currently milk BHB and FPR were available on more than 2.2 million test-days records belonging to Holstein cows in the first 90 days-in-milk from first, second and third lactation. These records were subsequently matched to the closest linear classification date when body condition score (BCS) was scored. The pedigree of phenotyped cows was traced back up to 4 generations. (Co)variance components were estimated using trivariate linear mixed models; in particular, for BHB and FPR the fixed effects of herd-test-day, the two-way interaction between week of lactation and parity, and the three-way interaction between classes of age at calving, parity and year of calving were considered. The additive genetic effect and, only for BHB and FPR, the permanent environment were the random effects. Heritability estimates were 0.093, 0.090 and 0.157 for BHB, FPR and BCS, respectively, while repeatability estimates were 0.179 (BHB) and 0.209 (FPR). Phenotypically, milk BHB was positively correlated with FPR (0.279) and weakly with BCS (-0.038), similarly to the correlation estimated between FPR and BCS (-0.049). Milk BHB was genetically correlated with FPR (0.159) and BCS (-0.161), while the genetic correlation between FPR and BCS was -0.14. The results from the present study demonstrated the presence of exploitable genetic variation for breeding purposes resulting in EBVs.

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Published

2021-09-10