New Genetic Tool

Metabolic Disease Resistance

A brand new genetic tool to increase profitability

Though environment, nutrition and global management practice are the main causes, metabolic diseases are also induced by genetic variance observed in the dairy bovine population. This variance has been recently calculated by the Canadian Dairy Network (CDN) and will be introduced as a new trait named “Metabolic Disease Resistance” (MDR). MDR genetic selection will help to decrease fees related to ketosis, displaced abomasum and other metabolic disorders linked to these diseases.

Clinical Ketosis (individual with symptom) as well as Subclinical Ketosis (asymptomatic individual) are characterised by an abnormally high concentration of ketone bodies circulating in blood, usually at the very beginning of the lactation, and caused by negative energy balance. Ketosis can impair immune response, impact reproductive performances, decrease production, higher the culling risk and shows as a risk factor for several metabolic disorders.

Among metabolic diseases for which ketosis is a risk factor, displaced abomasum is one of the most costly. Caused by a gas accumulation in the abomasum, displaced abomasum often leads to a surgery and can impact milk production up to 300 kg during the lactation. As much as for ketosis and displaced abomasum cases, older cows seem to be affected the most in terms of frequency and economic loss compared to their 1st lactation counterparts. 

Figure 1 (CDN, 2016) shows a correlation between MDR genetic values and % of females that aren’t experiencing metabolic disorders. A sire with a 115 score would see almost 100% of his daughters being  healthy, while a sire with a 85 score would have around 17% of his daughters experiencing metabolic diseases.

Metabolic Disease Resistance index is a brand new genetic tool to help dairy breeders to increase their profitability with the selection of the best sires available. Here is a list of bulls currently available through the STgenetics Canada network that will help decrease your expenses related to metabolic diseases:

 Semen Code  Name  DMR
  551HO03130   MEGA-WATT RC  108
  551HO03141   MEGA-DART  108
  551HO03170   ADMIRE  106
  551HO03385   PROGRESS P RC  106
  151HO00728   SLADE  106
  151HO03121   APPLEBOY RED  106
  513HO03194   LAWYER  105
  147HO02472   KOBRA  105
  147HO02426   DELIGENT  105
  147HO02431   RANSOM  105

Source : CDN 12-2016