Interbull Routine Genetic Evaluation for Female Fertility Traits
International genetic evaluations for female fertility
traits of bulls from Belgium (BEL), Canada (CAN), Czech Republic (CZE), France (FRA),
Germany-Austria (DEU),Ireland (IRL), Israel (ISR), Italy (ITA), The Netherlands
(NLD), New Zealand (NZL), Nordic countries (DFS: Denmark, Finland, Sweden),
Spain (ESP), Switzerland (CHE and CHR, for Holstein and Red Holstein,
respectively), United Kingdom (GBR), and The United States of America (USA) were
included in this evaluation.
After the decision made by Interbull Steering committee a new way of classsifying female fertility traits were adopted. Female fertility traits used in this Interbull routine evaluation were classified in a as follows:
|T1||(HC):||Maiden (H)eifer's ability to (C)onceive. A measure of confirmed conception, such as conception rate (CR), will be considered for this trait group. In the absence of confirmed conception an alternative measure, such as interval first-last insemination (FL), interval first insemination-conception (FC), number of inseminations (NI), or non-return rate (NR,preferably NR56) can be submitted;|
|T2||(CR):||Lactating (C)ow's ability to (R)ecycle after calving. The interval calving-first insemination (CF) is an example for this ability. In the abscence of such a trait, a measure of the interval calving-conception, such as says oprn (DO) or calving interval (CI) can be submitted;|
|T3||(C1):||Lactating (C)ow's ability to conceive (1), expressed as a rate trait. Traits like conception rate (CR) and non-return rate (NR, preferably NR56) will be considered for this trait group;|
|T4||(C2):||Lactating (C)ow's ability to conceive (2), expressed as an interval trait. The interval first insemination-conception (FC) or interval first-last insemination (FL) will be considered for this trait group. As an alternative, number of inseminations (NI) can be submitted. In the abscence of any of these traits, a measure of interval calving-conception such as days open (DO), or calving interval (CI) can be submitted. All countries are expected to submit data for this trait group, and as a last resort the trait submitted under T3 can be submitted for T4 as well.|
|T5||(IT):||Lactating cow's measurements of (I)nterval (T)raits calving-conception, such as days open (DO) and calving interval (CI).|
Changes in national proceduresChanges in the national genetic evaluation of female fertility traits are as follows:
Except for the trait grouping and the ensuing change of
"correlation windows", there has not been any change in the Interbull procedures
since the latest evaluation.
Data and method of analysis
Traits submitted by the participating countries are presented in
Data were national genetic evaluations of AI sampled bulls with at least 10 daughters in at least 10 herds. Table 2 presents the amount of data included in this Interbull evaluation for Holstein.
Information on the expression of national genetic evaluation results, (T)ransmitting abilities or (B)reeding values, and whether higher or lower values are desirable are presented in Table 3.
National proofs were first de-regressed within country and then analysed jointly with a linear model including the effects of evaluation country, genetic group of bull and bull merit. Heritability estimates used in both the de-regression and international evaluation were as in each country's national evaluation (Table 4).
Table 5 presents the date of evaluation as supplied by each country in the 019-proof file.
Estimated genetic parameters are shown in APPENDIX I and the corresponding number of common bulls are listed in APPENDIX II.
Ancestor-bulls without own proofs were traced back two generations from the oldest bulls with proofs in order to increase across country connections and account for the effect of selection.
Genetic groups were defined according to unidentified parents by national origin, breed and birth year of the bull and path of selection (sire, maternal grand-sire, maternal grand-dam). Minimum group size was set to 30.
The international genetic evaluation procedure is based on international work described in the following scientific publications:
International genetic evaluation computation:
Schaeffer. 1994. J. Dairy Sci. 77:2671-2678
Klei, 1998. Interbull Bulletin 17:3-7
Verification and Genetic trend validation:
Klei et al., 2002. Interbull Bulletin 29:178-182.
Boichard et al., 1995. J. Dairy Sci. 78:431-437
Fikse and Banos, 2001. J. Dairy Sci. 84:1759-1767
Sigurdsson and G. Banos. 1995. Acta Agric. Scand. 45:207-219
Jairath et al. 1998. J. Dairy Sci. Vol. 81:550-562
Genetic parameter estimation:
Klei and Weigel, 1998, Interbull Bulletin 17:8-14
Sullivan, 1999. Interbull Bulletin 22:146-148
Post-processing of estimated genetic correlations:
Mark et al., 2003, Interbull Bulletin 30:126-135
Jorjani et al., 2003. J. Dairy Sci. 86:677-679
Genetic correlation estimation procedure
Weigel and Banos. 1997. J. Dairy Sci. 80:3425-3430
International reliability estimation
Harris and Johnson. 1998. Interbull Bulletin 17:31-36
Publication of Interbull evaluations
Results were distributed by the Interbull Centre to designated
representatives in each country. The international evaluation file comprised international proofs expressed on the base and unit of each country included
in the analysis. Such records readily provide more information on bull performance in various countries, thereby minimising the need to resort to
At the same time, all recipients of Interbull results are expected to honour the agreed code of practice, decided by the Interbull Steering Committee, and only publish international evaluations on their own country scale. Evaluations expressed on another country scale are confidential and may only be used internally for research and review purposes.
All recipients are also expected to follow the agreed guidelines for advertising genetic merit. The guidelines has been distributed to all members and is available on the Interbull homepage ( http://www.interbull.org) under "Publications and Documentation/General information".
Next routine international evaluation
The next routine international evaluation for dairy
production, udder health, conformation, longevity, calving (Brown Swiss,
Holsteins, Red Dairy Cattle) and fertility traits is scheduled for March 2008.
New data for the March routine run should reach the Interbull Centre not later than Tuesday Mar 18, 2008, 17:00 Central European Time (CET); in any case, the most recently received data will be considered.
The target time for distribution of results for internal review to designated representatives, who have signed a confidentiality agreement with the Centre, is Thursday March 27, 2008. Official release date of the results is targeted to be Tuesday April 1, 2008.
Next test international evaluation
The next test international evaluation for dairy
production, conformation, udder health, longevity, calving traits (Brown Swiss,
Holstein, Red Dairy Cattle) and female fertility traits is scheduled for May
Countries wishing to enter the system for the first time or planning to submit new information (modified national evaluation procedure, new breeds etc) for following routine evaluations must have their data tested in this test-run.
Deadline for sending data and validation results to the Interbull Centre for the May 2008 test evaluation is April 22, 2008 at 17:00 CET.
Means of result distribution from the Interbull Centre
Electronic exchange of data is probably more efficient
than anything else. Currently most countries in the service have established
internet connections and receive international evaluation results on the day of
their release. Subscribers to the service that do not already exercise this
option are encouraged to consider it and establish an internet connection and
ftp account. When such accounts are available, please provide their
specifications to the Interbull Centre. Until then, data will be delivered on
For more information about the international genetic evaluation service please contact the Interbull Centre: address: SLU Box 7023, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden; fax: +46-18-672648;
Please use Interbull_at_hgen.slu.se for all communication regarding Interbull services.