Longevity in beef cattle is an important economic trait. Including this trait in a breeding scheme increases profit and has a positive impact on the well-being and welfare of the animals. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the consequences of alternative selection strategies to include longevity in different breeding schemes using deterministic simulation. Different schemes were compared and economic (EcW) and empirical weights (EmW) were used to evaluate the responses. The empirical weights of average daily gain (ADG) and muscularity (MU) were identical because both traits have an identical importance for the breeders. Economic weights have been derived from profit equations. Traits used in the Base scenarios were: average daily gain pre-performance test (ADG1), average daily gain during the performance test (ADG2) and muscularity (MU); longevity (L) was included in the alternative schemes. When longevity was included both in the breeding index and in the breeding goal (scenario A-2), the total longevity response using EmW and EcW was +2.97 d/yr and +4.92 d/yr, respectively. The total economic response for scenario A-2 using EmW and EcW were 3.020 EURO/yr and 3.342 EURO/yr, respectively, and the total response in units of Bull Selection Index were +0.699 and +0.678, respectively. Longevity decreased when it was not included in either the breeding goal or in the breeding index (scenario Base), and economic response was the lowest found. The results of the current study indicate that the highest total response using either economic weights or empirical weights was found when information on longevity was included both in the breeding index and in the breeding goal (scenario A-2).
|Journal||Italian Journal of Animal Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
- survival analysis techniques
- asymptotic rates