Phenotypic relationships between longevity, type traits and production in Chianina beef cattle

F. Forobasco, A.F. Groen, R. Bozzi, J.A.M. van Arendonk, F. Filippini, P. Boettcher, P. Bijma

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Abstract

Longevity is an increasingly important trait in beef cattle. Increased longevity decreases costs for the farmer and increases revenue. The objective of this research was to investigate the phenotypic relationship between type traits and longevity in Chianina beef cattle, and the relationship between production and longevity, to analyze the effect of voluntary culling. Data included records on reproductive, productive, and type traits provided by the National Association of Italian Beef Cattle Breeders from 6,395 Chianina cows. The average length of productive life was 1,829 d. The herd-year had a strong effect on the risk of culling. The effects of 22 type traits were analyzed. All the muscularity traits analyzed were highly significant (P <0.01) and as a group had the largest, effect on longevity followed by dimension, refinement, and leg traits. Cows that calved before 35 mo of age had a lower probability of being culled than cows calving after 35 mo of age. Variation in herd size had a strong effect on risk ratio, with lower risk for intermediate classes. Cows with approximately one calf per year remained in the herd longer than did cows with fewer calves. Straight-legged animals had a 59% greater probability of being replaced than cows with a moderate angle to the hock, whereas sickle-legged animals had only a 3% higher probability of being culled than average cows. Udder conformation had no effect on longevity. In summary, results of this study indicate that herd-year effects and muscularity traits were the most important factors for longevity for Chianina cows among the factors studied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1572-1580
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume82
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • linear type traits
  • herd life
  • genetic-parameters
  • breed

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    Forobasco, F., Groen, A. F., Bozzi, R., van Arendonk, J. A. M., Filippini, F., Boettcher, P., & Bijma, P. (2004). Phenotypic relationships between longevity, type traits and production in Chianina beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science, 82(6), 1572-1580.