New breeding value for the trait milking temperament
A new breeding value for the trait milking temperament
Nervous cows constitute a problem on dairy farms because they disturb the daily work, bring unrest into the herd and endanger the farmers in dealing with the animals. Because there is also a genetic component for the animal behavior, there was a great interest in a corresponding breeding value since many years. With the indexation of August 2021, breeding values for the trait “milking temperament” have been published for the first time for the breeds Brown Swiss and Fleckvieh. The data therefore are collected within the framework of the progeny evaluation (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic) and the milk recording (Austria). Specifically, the milking personnel is asked about the behavior of the cow during the milking. You can find this new index among the functional traits.
How can you use this breeding value in practice? Generally, both of the breeds Fleckvieh and Brown Swiss are famous for their calm character, nervous or even aggressive animals are very rare. If you nevertheless have problems in your herd, the new index is a helpful tool to take countermeasures with breeding. Apart from that, the animals’ behavior is also very much depending on the environment, e.g. the daily dealing with the farmer, and the heritability is relatively low (around 5%).
Conclusions: the new breeding value milking temperament is an interesting additional information, especially when there’s a need for action in single herds. But it shouldn’t be seen as a sole selection criteria, because most of the Brown Swiss and Fleckvieh cows are very calm and companionable animals anyway.
If you have any questions on that, please don’t hesitate to contact us!