Fertility

Fertility

CRV’s pathway to a healthy and efficient herd

    Fertility

    Fertile cows show their heat on time and get pregnant quickly and easily. Good daughter fertility is essential for the continuity of the herd and the farm income. Cows in calf start producing milk after calving and produce replacement heifers for the herd.

    Poor daughter fertility is one of the major culling reasons. Improving fertility will therefore shorten the calving interval, increase the lifetime of a cow, lower insemination efforts and reduce veterinary treatments.

    “The cows are healthy and produce milk easily. The calving interval has fallen from 412 days to 388 days”
    Kees Simons, dairy farmer in Steenbergen, the Netherlands

    CRV, leading in fertility

    CRV is leading in fertility by offering several solutions aimed at enhanced fertility. The high level of data collection by Dutch and Flemish farmers ensures that the breeding values for fertility are one of the most accurate and reliable indexes in the world.

    CRV offers several solutions:

    • Top ranking sires of various breeds that improve daughter fertility and have an excellent reproductive capacity
    • The CRV Ovalert system that uses advanced sensor technology to detect and identify health and fertility signals early and very effectively
    • The mating advice programme SireMatch to breed cows with better fertility
    • Genomic herd management solution HerdOptimizer Go that makes managing your herd easy and allows the selection of animals with the highest genetic level for fertility
    • Various personal, on farm fertility services such as artificial insemination, ultrasound scans for fertility or farm-specific advice


    Fertility explained

    Breeding for improved fertility

    Although daughter fertility consists of traits that do not have a high heritability, the large genetic variation certainly creates enough room for improvement through breeding. CRV takes many fertility traits into account and makes breeding that targets fertility easier thanks to a simple fertility index.

    Breeding rules for improved fertility

    Fertility proven in practice
    Practical research was performed among 100,490 cows on 900 farms. The results revealed that the 25% best performing cows for CRV Health conceive sooner, need fewer insemination attempts and have a shorter calving interval. The best cows also had a significantly higher genetic level for fertility and CRV Health. Breeding for fertility thus pays off in practice!

    The 25% best performing cows for CRV Health conceive sooner, need fewer insemination attempts and have a shorter calving interval.

    CRV fertility facts

    • CRV has already been registering fertility data since 1978. The fertility data of around 19 million animals is used in the genetic evaluation
    • The sires in the portfolio are of world class quality for daughter fertility: the average value of the fertility index of CRV sires has increased by >10 points since 2000
    • Since 2010, the calving interval of cows in the Netherlands has been reduced by 10 days
    • The semen fertility (non-return figures) of sires is monitored closely every month. Only bulls with a significantly above average reproductive capacity (+4 %) merit the unique CRV BullsEye predicate
    • Fertility is part of the CRV Health index, a unique index used to breed cows that are easy to manage and produce without problems
    Performance in
    lactations 1-3
    Lowest
    25%
    Highest
    25%
    Difference
    (absolute)
    Relative
    decrease
    Number of
    inseminations
    2.21.9–0.39%
    Non return –
    56 days (%)
    565824%
    Interval
    between
    calving and first
    insemination
    (days)
    8676–1012%
    Interval
    between
    first and last
    insemination
    (days)
    5036–1428%
    Calving interval
    (days)
    408385–236%
    Costs
    per cow
    Lowest
    25%
    Highest
    25%
    Savings
    (absolute)
    Savings
    (absolute)
    Savings
    Calving intervalinterval €49.36€22.82€26.5454%


    Tables: Comparison of the actual performances on working farms of the 25% highest and the 25% lowest scoring cows for CRV Health. Bouwmeester, H., and Hoekstra, E., Van Hall Larenstein (Leeuwarden) – Arnhem, the Netherlands, 2019

    More information

    Interested in fertility or would you like more information? Find a representative in your region or request more information via our contact form.

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