New French genetic evaluations of fertility and productive life of beef cows
Keywords:beef cattle, genetic evaluation, fertility, productive life
Since beginning 2000’s, all herd inventory, animal movements between herds and animal insemination are uploaded in the French national database for genetic evaluation. Two major breeders’ wishes can now be addressed with regards to female reproductive performance: heifer fertility and cow productive life. This paper covers the different steps realized for the implementation of two new national genetic evaluations concerning these traits. Female fertility is evaluated with heifer calving success after first AI. Cow productive life is assessed by the number of calvings at 78 months of age.
For both traits, heritabilities were estimated at low values: 1.5% for fertility and 4% for productive life. Reliabilities of estimated breeding values for these traits are therefore low. The results of these new genetic evaluations will thus be mainly interesting for selecting bull and cow sires in breeding programs.
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