Relationships among rump and rear leg type traits and reproductive performance in Holsteins Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/gm80hz148

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  • This study was conducted to determine the relationships among the linear type traits of rump angle, rump width, rump length, rear legs side view, rear legs position, rear legs rear view, tailhead, vulva angle, mobility, pasterns, foot angle, and toes with reproductive performance (days open and times bred) in Holstein cows and to develop indices to predict reproductive performance from mathematical functions of the anatomical traits. Two trials were conducted. The first trial involved 7630 registered Holstein cows from Oregon and California. The regression analysis (R²) showed only 1.1% of the variability of times bred and 1.3% of the variability of days open was accounted for by the rump and rear leg type traits. In the second trial, 8155 Holstein cows, both registered and grade, were analyzed using the linear type traits of rump angle, rump width, rear legs side view, rear legs position, rear legs rear view and foot angle.. Grade and registered cows were analyzed separately to determine if differences in management between them would be reflected in the statistical analysis. Evaluator, lactation number (parity), season, geographic location, and the interaction of evaluator and lactation number had a significant effect on most of the type traits and the scorecard category (General Appearance, Mammary System, Dairy Character and Body Capacity) scores examined. The effects of these variables were statistically removed and the residuals of the type traits were used in the final regression analysis. Using stepwise regression analysis, several non-significant traits were omitted from the final model. The analysis used days open and times bred as dependent variables. Lactation number, mature equivalent milk, foot angle, rump width and their respective quadratics were independent variables, as were season calved and geographic location. The regression analysis (R²) indicated that 5.3% of the variability in days open and 4.7% of the variability in times bred in registered cows was accounted for by the type traits, foot angle and rump width, respectively, when the effects of season calved, geographic location, lactation number and mature equivalent milk were included in the model. For the grade cows the regression analysis (R²) indicated that 3.5% of the variability in days open was accounted for by foot angle. None of the type traits examined had a significant effect on times bred. This study detected no significant influence of rump angle or rear leg position, as described by the HFA linear classification program, on reproductive performance. However, our analysis indicated that fertility decreased as rear foot angles became more steep in grade and registered cows and as rump width increased in registered cows.
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