Feed intake and ketosis boost breeding for efficiency and health

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The Better Life indices are now enriched with breeding values for feed intake and ketosis

CRV renews Better Life breeding numbers

Today the World Dairy Expo in Madison (USA) saw two world firsts in breeding for an efficient and healthy herd. Here CRV launched the renewed breeding numbers Better Life Efficiency and Better Life Health, now incorporating two unique breeding values for feed intake and ketosis.

Aiming for an efficient, easy to manage herd is a worldwide trend. CRV wishes to help farmers to achieve the desired results and was able to report two important breakthroughs at the World Dairy Expo.

Linking feed intake to feed efficiency
For increasing the efficiency of the milk production, feed efficiency is the key factor. Partly sponsored by the Dutch Dairy Board, Wageningen UR Livestock Research and CRV collaborated on the development of a breeding value for feed intake. CRV incorporates this breeding value in the Better Life Efficiency breeding number. This number accurately shows the degree to which a bull has efficiently producing descendants. Better Life Efficiency guards the balance between efficient production and sustainability because it focuses on lifetime production.
The development of the breeding value for feed intake was possible thanks to feed intake data collected at the Dairy Campus at Wageningen University & Research Centre.

Reducing ketosis
Ketosis (slow fever) is a well-known problem adversely affecting the health of the herd. Field data from milk production registration have enabled CRV to develop a breeding value to reduce this problem. The breeding value ketosis will be incorporated in the Better Life Health breeding number. Farmers can use this number for the practice-oriented selection of bulls that positively affect the health of the herd, now including ketosis as well.

The renewal of the two Better Life breeding numbers for health and efficiency with the two unique breeding values for feed intake and ketosis means a huge step forwards for farmers who wish to breed an efficient, productive and easy to manage herd. CRV will publish the information for its Holstein bulls from December.