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.
A vital herd is the basis for a good milk production and a high longevity. Cows with healthy hooves perform better and are less labour intensive. Lameness is one of the most important culling reasons and a large share of cows suffer from one of more hoof disorders in their lives.
Improving hoof health pays out directly; healthy cows have a better welfare, produce more and give less trouble. A good hoof health results in a higher longevity, improved feed intake, better fertility and less treatment costs.
CRV, leading in hoof health
CRV is leading in hoof health by offering several solutions for enhanced hoof health. Thanks to the high volume of data collected by Dutch and Flemish farmers (with the DigiKlauw programme), CRV offers the most accurate and reliable indexes and breeding values for hoof health in the world.
CRV offers several solutions:
- Top ranking sires of various breeds that inherit healthy hooves
- CrossFit is CRV’s crossbreeding concept that excels in health and ease
- Sire advice programme SireMatch to breed for cows with healthier hooves
- Genomic herd management solution HerdOptimizer Go that makes managing your herd easy and gives the opportunity to select the animals with the highest genetic level for hoof health
Hoof health explained
Breeding for improved hoof health
Since there are so many hoof disorders, the CRV hoof health index was developed to assist in breeding a cow that is less susceptible to all hoof disorders. This makes it easier to make a selection based on hoof health.
Hoof health proven in practice
Practical research was performed among 100,490 cow sat 900 farms. It appeared that the 25% best cows for CRV Health had 15% less hoof disorders and less costs associated with hoof diseases, lower production and veterinary care. The best cows also had a significantly higher genetic level for hoof health and CRV Health. Breeding for hoof health thus pays off in practice!
CRV hoof health facts
- CRV already collects since the 2000’s real hoof health data from Dutch and Flemish dairy farmers in cooperation with specialized hoof trimmers (DigiKlauw programme)
- CRV has a database with more than 1.5 million hoof health related records
- CRV was one of the first in the world to make it able to breed on hoof health
- CRV’s hoof health index takes the most important hoof disorders and feet and leg conformation traits into account
- This breeding effort resulted in a reduction of hoof disorders of 21% since 2007 in the Netherlands and Flanders
- CRV sires are world leading in hoof health as shown in the genetic trend for this index
- Hoof health is part of the CRV Health index, a unique index to breed for cows that are easy to manage and produce without problems.
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.