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.
Udder health is one of the most important traits of cow health. Good udder health results in a low incidence of clinical mastitis, subclinical mastitis and a low somatic cell count.
Cows with healthy udders mean lower costs for veterinary care and lower culling rates. They have a longer productive life, produce more milk and have a higher output using the same input. This considerably reduces their carbon footprint. They also require fewer antibiotics. Udder health thus has a major impact on the welfare, production and sustainability of a herd.
CRV, leading in udder health
CRV is leading in udder health by offering several solutions for enhanced udder health. Thanks to the high volume of data collected by Dutch and Flemish farmers, CRV offers the most accurate and reliable indexes and breeding values for udder health in the world.
CRV offers several solutions:
- Top ranking sires of various breeds who pass on healthy udders
- CrossFit is CRV’s crossbreeding concept that excels in health and ease
- Sire advice programme SireMatch to breed cows with healthier udders
- Genomic herd management solution HerdOptimizer Go that makes herd management easy and allows you to select animals with the highest genetic level for udder health
Udder health explained
Breeding for improved udder health
CRV developed the unique udder health index which gives a complete picture on udder health. In this index clinical and subclinical mastitis have been given weight according to the economic damage they are causing.
Udder health 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 had substantially better udder health and less costs associated with (sub)clinical mastitis, lower production, veterinary care and antibiotics (see the figure). The best cows also had a significantly higher genetic level for udder health and CRV Health. Breeding for udder health thus pays off in practice!
CRV udder health facts
- More than 90% of cows in the Netherlands are part of a milk recording scheme that generates more than 12 million somatic cell count measurements per year
- CRV looks beyond just somatic cell count measurements and takes unique characteristics into account such as the severity of the infection and peak cell count patterns
- CRV developed in cooperation with Wageningen University & Research the unique udder health index in which clinical and subclinical mastitis have been given weight according to the economic damage they are causing
- The sires in CRV’s portfolio for udder health are all outstanding, world-class performers, 95% of the active sires score above average
- Udder health is part of the CRV Health index, a unique index that helps breed cows that are easy to manage and produce without problems.
Tables: Comparison of the actual performances on working farms of the 25% highest andthe 25% lowest scoring cows for CRV Health. Bouwmeester, H., and Hoekstra, E., Van Hall Larenstein (Leeuwarden) – Arnhem, the Netherlands, 2019