Genetic evaluation for direct and maternal livability in The Netherlands


  • M L van Pelt
  • G de Jong


A new breeding value estimation for livability has been implemented in the Dutch/Flemish genetic evaluation in April 2011. Breeding values are estimated with a multiple trait animal model with correlated direct and maternal effects. Benefits of the new model are that the maternal effect is modelled more correctly and observations from heifers and cows are treated as different traits. The phenotypic trend for live-born calves from heifers is negative and for cows stable. Therefore the breeding goal has changed towards breeding for more live-born calves from heifers, whereas previous breeding for more live-born calves from heifers and cows was the breeding goal. Genetic trends in the last decade remained stable or slightly increased. Interbull correlations with other countries increased in case of breeding values based on heifer observations and a comparable evaluation model. Trait and model harmonisation amongst countries is preferable to get higher correlations.