NTM Unlocked
General Health index part 2
How much improvement in health can you expect from a bull with high breeding values for General Health sub-indices?

Let’s take one of the most common metabolic diseases – ketosis. A daughter of a bull with an estimated breeding value (EBV) of 120 in Ketosis will have less ketosis cases than a daughter of a bull with 100 EBV, which is the population average for the breed. For example, a VikingHolstein bull with EBV 120 for Ketosis means 76% less cases of ketosis relative to population average!

What does this 76% reduction mean in real life? Let’s take an example of two farms with Holstein cows; Farm A with 500 cows has 2% of cows with ketosis per year - 10 cases. Farm B with 500 cows has 10% of cows with ketosis per year, total of 50 cases. A bull with EBV 120 for Ketosis sub-trait can reduce the disease frequency so that farm A will go from 10 cases to two cases of ketosis per year and farm B will go from 50 cases to just 12 cases per year.

If we take early and late reproductive disorders, EBV 120 for these two sub-traits for VikingHolstein means 30% less disease cases relative to the population average. 

Our General Health index covers important transition cow disorders like milk fever, metritis, ketosis among others. Health disorders in transition period cost a lot of time, money and productivity. Studies show that 75% of disease cases in dairy cows occur in the first 30 days in milk, transition cow disorders have a lot of influence on your bottom line. Preventing diseases through genetics will help you reduce many post-calving disorders.

One of our top performing VikingHolstein genomic bulls, VH Solvind, (+31 gNTM) with 121 EBV for General health will really make a difference in your herd! His daughters will have 28% less early reproductive diseases, 32% less metabolic disorders and 56% less ketosis compared to population average. If you struggle with a high level of diseases in transition period, choose the bulls that have high EBV for the General Health trait to enhance the transition health of your herd.

With the General Health index in NTM, you get the complete information on health covering more than 80 diagnoses. 

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