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Advances in dairy cattle breeding to improve fertility/reproductive efficiency

Code: 9781786765567
Mekonnen Haile-Mariam, Agriculture Victoria, AgriBio, Australia; and Jennie Pryce, Agriculture Victoria and La Trobe University, Australia

Chapter synopsis: The decline in fertility over the last few decades, especially in high milk producing dairy cows, is a major concern in many countries with modern dairy industries. Fertility is a compound trait of many events leading up to successful calving and subsequent lactation. Fertility traits in cattle have a relatively low heritability, but part of the historical decline in fertility is associated with strong selection for milk production and some type traits in some dairy breeds. In this chapter, genetic and breeding approaches to improve fertility including collection and utilization of data to carry out genetic evaluation are discussed. The chapter reviews progress in the understanding the role of genetics in addressing the decline in fertility and present, current, and future challenges and opportunities that could affect reproductive efficiency of dairy cattle. Measures of fertility and their use for genetic evaluation, and the use of different breeds and genomic data to improve reproductive performances of dairy cattle will also be discussed.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2019.0058.10
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Measures of fertility traits 3 Basis for genetic improvement of fertility traits 4 Strategies for genetic improvement of fertility 5 Summary 6 Future trends 7 Acknowledgements 8 Where to look for further information 9 References

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