|Cow number 8798 freshened eight days ago. Calving went well, but this morning when you walked into the fresh cow pen, you noticed the cow is suffering from one of the most common reproductive diseases that occurs within the first 21 days post-calving: metritis.|
Controlling and limiting early lactation diseases are key to getting animals off to the right start. Now, Genex is offering members and customers another way – a genetic way – to limit metritis in future generations. With the December sire summary, Genex is releasing the Metritis (MTR) breeding value. This new breeding value is a prime example of the cooperative’s dedication to data-driven innovation for the genetic improvement of members’ herds.
According to the cooperative's research arm, known as the CRI ICB, metritis prevalence in cows less than 45 days in milk (DIM) is 7.9%.1 Said another way, at any one point in time nearly 8% of cows within a herd are observed as having metritis.
Studies have shown metritis reduces milk yield and reproductive performance and negatively affects cows' productive lives through increased culling rates. The cost per case of metritis is $396 on average.2
MTR Breeding Value
MTR has a base of 100, with higher values being more desirable. If sire A is 105 MTR and sire B is 95 MTR, daughters of sire A are expected to average 6.7% fewer cases of metritis. MTR heritability is 6.8%.
Selection for improved animal health will be made when MTR is used in conjunction with sire selection criteria like the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index. The proprietary MTR breeding value is included in the December 2016 update to the ICC$ index formula.
MTR is calculated by CRI ICB staff using the cooperative's dairy research database. The database contains more than 26 million health events from nearly 4 million cows.
When choosing sires following the December sire summary, remember that MTR is …
- A valuable sire selection tool to improve cow health when used in combination with the ICC$ index.
- A genetic selection tool to help manage the cost and impact associated with metritis in future generations.
- An innovative breeding value brought to you by Genex.
1 CRI ICB dairy research database, October 2016.
2 J.A.A. McArt, D.V. Nydham, M.W. Overton, Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 98, Issue 3, 2015, 2043-2054