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Sadeghi-Sefidmazgi A.,Isfahan University of Technology | Amer P.R.,AbacusBio Ltd
Canadian Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2015

The objectives of this research were (1) to estimate the economic benefits or new marketing opportunities due to a reduction in milk somatic cell count (SCC) for dairy producers through improved management practices and (2) to quantify the production loss associated with SCC under different management systems. A total of 38 530 average lactation SCC records for 10 216 Holstein cows gathered on 25 dairy farms from January 2009 to October 2012 in Isfahan (Iran) were analyzed under 13 types of herd management practices including 40 levels of health, milking and housing conditions. The results show that there are many wellestablished management practices associated with higher-quality payment for SCC that have not yet been applied in Isfahan dairy farms. The lowest and highest economic premium opportunity (US$) from SCC were estimated to be for production systems applying washable towels for teat cleaning (5.69) and production systems with no teat disinfection (31.07) per cow per lactation. Results indicate that any increase of one unit in average lactation somatic cell score is expected to cause a significant reduction in average lactation 305-d milk yield from 36.0 to 173.4 kg, depending on the level of management practices employed. In general, farmers with higher milk yield and well-managed practices for mastitis control would lose more milk when an increase occurs in SCC. © 2015, Agricultural Institute of Canada. All rights reserved.

More robust cattle have the potential to increase farm profitability, improve animal welfare, reduce the contribution of ruminant livestock to greenhouse gas emissions and decrease the risk of food shortages in the face of increased variability in the farm environment. Breeding is a powerful tool for changing the robustness of cattle; however, insufficient recording of breeding goal traits and selection of animals at younger ages tend to favour genetic change in productivity traits relative to robustness traits. This paper has extended a previously proposed theory of artificial evolution to demonstrate, using deterministic simulation, how choice of breeding scheme design can be used as a tool to manipulate the direction of genetic progress, whereas the breeding goal remains focussed on the factors motivating individual farm decision makers. Particular focus was placed on the transition from progeny testing or mass selection to genomic selection breeding strategies. Transition to genomic selection from a breeding strategy where candidates are selected before records from progeny being available was shown to be highly likely to favour genetic progress in robustness traits relative to productivity traits. This was shown even with modest numbers of animals available for training and when heritability for robustness traits was only slightly lower than that for productivity traits. When transitioning from progeny testing to a genomic selection strategy without progeny testing, it was shown that there is a significant risk that robustness traits could become less influential in selection relative to productivity traits. Augmentations of training populations using genotyped cows and support for industry-wide improvements in phenotypic recording of robustness traits were put forward as investment opportunities for stakeholders wishing to facilitate the application of science on robust cattle into improved genetic selection schemes. © 2011 The Animal Consortium.

Sadeghi-Sefidmazgi A.,University of Tehran | Moradi-Shahrbabak M.,University of Tehran | Nejati-Javaremi A.,University of Tehran | Miraei-Ashtiani S.R.,University of Tehran | Amer P.R.,AbacusBio Ltd
Animal | Year: 2011

The objective of this study was to develop a method for calculating economic values of clinical mastitis (CM) and somatic cell score (SCS) for inclusion in a dairy cattle breeding goal in the context of a country where farm production and economic data are scarce. In order to calculate the costs and derive economic values for SCS, a new model, milk collection method, has been developed and was compared with the Meijering model with individual and average SCS distributions. For the population, estimated economic values using the milk collection method were 1.3 and 2.4 times higher than those of Meijering method with average and individual SCS, respectively. The milk collection method needs no assumptions about normality of the distribution of SCS and because of a lack of normality in Iranian data for SCS, the Meijering method resulted in economic values that were biased downwards. Failing to account for the fact that milk price penalties for SCS are applied at milk collection rather than individual cow level resulted in a further large downward bias in the economic value of SCS. When the distribution of data is unknown or difficult to approximate or when a transformation to normality is not straightforward, the milk collection method would be preferable. Inclusion of SCS and CM in the breeding goal for Iranian dairy cattle is justified based on these results. The model to calculate mastitis costs proposed here could be used to estimate economic values for CM in other developing countries where farm production and economic data are generally poor. Copyright © 2010 The Animal Consortium.

Yousefi A.R.,University of Tehran | Kohram H.,University of Tehran | Zare Shahneh A.,University of Tehran | Nik-khah A.,University of Tehran | Campbell A.W.,AbacusBio Ltd
Meat Science | Year: 2012

The aim of this study was to compare the meat quality of a traditional fat-tailed breed, Chall, to a tailed Iranian sheep breed, Zel. Lambs were grazed on pasture until weaning, and then were finished until slaughter at 10-12. months. Meat quality traits were measured on the longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle. Zel lambs accumulated more intramuscular fat (IMF) (p < 0.01) and had lower shear force and drip loss than Chall lambs (p < 0.05). The meat color of Zel lambs was higher for both a* (p < 0.001) and b* (p < 0.01) compared to Chall lambs. Meat from Zel lambs was more tender (p < 0.01) and more juicy (p < 0.05) than Chall lambs. The PUFA:SFA fatty acid ratio (P:S) was higher (p < 0.05) and the n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio was lower in Chall compared to Zel lambs (p < 0.05). Overall, these results show that the eating quality of Zel lambs was better, but that this was at the cost of less favorable fatty acid profiles and poorer meat color. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Nielsen H.M.,432 as | Olesen I.,432 as | Navrud S.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Kolstad K.,432 as | Amer P.,AbacusBio Ltd
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics | Year: 2011

The objective of this paper is to outline challenges associated with the inclusion of welfare issues in breeding goals for farm animals and to review the currently available methodologies and discuss their potential advantages and limitations to address these challenges. The methodology for weighing production traits with respect to cost efficiency and market prices are well developed and implemented in animal breeding goals. However, these methods are inadequate in terms of assessing proper values of traits with social and ethical values such as animal welfare, because such values are unlikely to be readily available from the product prices and costs in the market. Defining breeding goals that take animal welfare and ethical concerns into account, therefore, requires new approaches. In this paper we suggest a framework and an approach for defining breeding goals, including animal welfare. The definition of breeding goals including values related to animal welfare requires a multidisciplinary approach with a combination of different methods such as profit equations, stated preference techniques, and selection index theory. In addition, a participatory approach involving different stakeholders such as breeding organizations, food authorities, farmers, and animal welfare organizations should be applied. We conclude that even though these methods provide the necessary tools for considering welfare issues in the breeding goal, the practical application of these methods is yet to be achieved. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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