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Economic value of female fertility and its relationship with profit in Spanish dairy cattle

O González-Recio, M A Pérez-Cabal, R Alenda
Journal of Dairy Science 2004, 87 (9): 3053-61
A data file of 225,085 inseminations and 120,713 lactations from 63,160 Holstein cows was analyzed to obtain female fertility economic value according to number of inseminations per service period (INS). Fertility cost (FCOST) was included in a bioeconomic model, taking into account number of doses of semen, hormonal treatments, fertility culling cost, and delayed milk and calf sales. A profit equation was elaborated to estimate fertility cost and profit according to INS. Fertility in Spanish dairy cattle has worsened >10% over the last 14 yr. Days open have increased by about 15 d, and INS has increased from 1.7 to 2.0. A quadratic relationship was found between FCOST and INS. Similar profitability was estimated for cows who needed one or 2 INS, but when >3 INS were needed, profit decreased by >205 (US dollars)/yr per cow. Cows that needed more INS had higher milk yield per lactation, but also had a higher culling risk and lower productive life and lifetime production, therefore, lower profit. Calving interval (CI) and INS economic values were, respectively, -4.90 and -67.32 (US dollars)/yr per cow and per one unit of change. The economic values of productive traits were 4.04, 1.02, and 1.19 (US dollars)/yr per cow and per one unit of change for kg protein, kg fat, and days in milk, respectively. A mature body weight economic value of -0.67 (US dollars)/yr per cow and per kg was estimated. The relative importance of fertility traits with respect to protein was 64% for CI and 24% for INS, although the CI economic value is highly influenced by phenotypic standard deviation considered.


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