Morten Kargo

Preferences for Breeding Goal Traits for Danish Red and Jersey Cattle

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

The aim of this study was to characterize preferences of farmers with Red Danish Cattle (RDC) or Jersey herds. A breed-specific survey was established to characterize preferences of farmers for improvements in ten traits, by means of pairwise rankings using the online software 1000Minds. These pairwise rankings were based on equal economic worth of trait improvements. The RDC-survey was filled in by 87 farmers and the Jersey-survey by 76 farmers. Both RDC and Jersey herds had the highest preference for improvements in mastitis, followed by milk production. The lowest preference was given to calving difficulty. By means of a cluster analysis distinct clusters of farmers were identified and named according to the trait improvements that werethe most preferred per cluster. RDC herds were divided into three different clusters: Robustness, Production & Health, and Production & Fertility. The Jersey herds were divided into the clusters Production & Fertility, Production & Robustness, and Survival. For RDC herds we found that the cluster Production & Fertility had the highest percentage of organic farmers (50%), the lowest percentage of crossbreeding and the lowest yields and herd size. The cluster Robustness had the highest yields and the highest prevalence of udder disorders, and these farmers ranked production traits very low and mastitis very high. For Jersey herds, the percentage of dead cows was highest for the cluster Survival. This cluster also ranked mastitis the highest compared to the other clusters, and contained herds with the highest prevalence of udder disorders. These results suggest that farmers choose to improve traits that are more problematic in their herds. This study shows that heterogeneity exists in farmers’ preferences for trait improvements and that some herd characteristics can be linked to the different farmer clusters. The results from this study give a strong basis for setting up customized indexes or breeding goals for the different farmer clusters, which might increase the uptake of genetic merit.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event67th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production (EAAP) - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Aug 20161 Sep 2016
Conference number: 67


Conference67th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production (EAAP)
CountryUnited Kingdom
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