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Article

Application of a Bio-Economic Model to Demonstrate the Importance of Health Traits in Herd Management of Lithuanian Dairy Breeds

1
Animal Science Institute, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, R. Žebenkos 12, LT-82317 Baisogala, Lithuania
2
Biostatistics Group, Department of Genetics, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Kożuchowska 7, 51-631 Wrocław, Poland
3
Institute of Animal Breeding and Husbandry, Kiel University, Hermann-Rodewald-Str. 6, 24118 Kiel, Germany
4
SimHerd A/S, Niels Pedersens Alle 2, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark
5
Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wojciech Barański
Animals 2022, 12(15), 1926; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12151926
Received: 29 June 2022 / Revised: 20 July 2022 / Accepted: 26 July 2022 / Published: 28 July 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Cattle Herds Management: Methods and Perspectives)
The aims of dairy cattle breeding are more often associated with direct health evidence in relation to the net financial gain and the weighting factors are usually economic values that are retrieved from a model of a dairy herd production system. In our study we used a stochastic bio-economic model SimHerd, which allows us to derive economic values for production, fertility, calving, the survival of cows and calves and assign the importance of health traits to the economic values. Special emphasis was placed on the economics values of health traits and their importance for Lithuanian dairy cattle.
Assessing the economic importance of traits is crucial for delivering appropriate breeding goals in dairy cattle breeding. The aim of the present study was to calculate economic values (EV) and assign the importance of health traits for three dairy cattle breeds: Lithuanian Black-and-White open population (LBW), Lithuanian Red open population (LR) and Lithuanian Red old genotype (LROG). The EV estimation was carried out using a stochastic bio-economic model SimHerd, which allows the simulation of the expected monetary gain of dairy herds. The simulation model was calibrated for LBW, LR and LROG breeds, taking into account breed-specific phenotypic and economic data. For each trait, two scenarios were simulated with a respective trait at different phenotypic levels. To obtain the EVs, the scenarios were compared with each other in terms of their economic outcomes. In order to avoid the double counting of the effects, the output results were corrected using a multiple regression analysis with mediator variables. The EVs were derived for the traits related to production ECM (energy-corrected milk), fertility, calving traits, calf survival, cow survival and direct health. To demonstrate the importance of health traits in herd management, we provided reliable EVs estimates for functional traits related to herd health. The highest EV for direct health traits, caused by an increase in of 1 percentage point, were those found for mastitis (EUR 1.73 to EUR 1.82 per cow-year) and lameness (EUR 1.07 to EUR 1.27 per cow-year). The total costs per case of ketosis, milk fever and metritis ranged from EUR 1.01 to EUR 1.30, EUR 1.14 to EUR 1.26 and EUR 0.95 to EUR 1.0, respectively. The highest economic values of dystocia were estimated for LROG (EUR −1.32), slightly lower for LBW (EUR −1.31) and LR (EUR −1.23). The results of this study show the importance of health traits to the economic features of cattle herd selection of new breeding goal and this would improve the herd health. The economic evaluation of the functional traits analyzed in this study indicated the significant economic importance of the functional traits in Lithuanian dairy cattle breeds. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-economic model; breeding goal; dairy cattle; economic value; herd health management bio-economic model; breeding goal; dairy cattle; economic value; herd health management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marašinskienė, Š.; Šveistienė, R.; Kosińska-Selbi, B.; Schmidtmann, C.; Ettema, J.F.; Juškienė, V.; Kargo, M. Application of a Bio-Economic Model to Demonstrate the Importance of Health Traits in Herd Management of Lithuanian Dairy Breeds. Animals 2022, 12, 1926. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12151926

AMA Style

Marašinskienė Š, Šveistienė R, Kosińska-Selbi B, Schmidtmann C, Ettema JF, Juškienė V, Kargo M. Application of a Bio-Economic Model to Demonstrate the Importance of Health Traits in Herd Management of Lithuanian Dairy Breeds. Animals. 2022; 12(15):1926. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12151926

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marašinskienė, Šarūnė, Rūta Šveistienė, Barbara Kosińska-Selbi, Christin Schmidtmann, Jehan Frans Ettema, Violeta Juškienė, and Morten Kargo. 2022. "Application of a Bio-Economic Model to Demonstrate the Importance of Health Traits in Herd Management of Lithuanian Dairy Breeds" Animals 12, no. 15: 1926. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12151926

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