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18 Jun 2023

Boost mastitis resistance with breeding

Are you looking for ways to enhance your herd’s mastitis resistance and improve performance?

By focusing on breeding for stronger resistance to mastitis, you can improve efficiency and lower costs regardless of the current management level or the production system in place.

 Mastitis represents a major financial burden for dairy farmers worldwide, leading to decreased milk yield, potentially unsellable antibiotic-contaminated milk, as well as incurring additional veterinary, antibiotic, and labour costs. Furthermore, subclinical mastitis contributes to hidden economic losses.

Poor udder health also leads to higher culling rates and occasional fatalities among cows, with mastitis being one of the main reasons for culling. This not only compromises animal welfare but also results in significant economic losses for your operation.

Boost mastitis resistance with breeding VikingRed

Breed for better udder health and secure your profitability

Preventing mastitis is the most effective strategy to ensure the profitability of your dairy farm and avoid additional expenses. Choosing the right bull has a significant impact on this.

In the period 2003–2022, the Nordic countries improved their genetic level of udder health for three dairy breeds by:

Boost mastitis resistance with breeding VikingJersey

With a consistent focus on breeding, you can achieve genetic progress for udder health and improve your bottom line

By selecting a sire with a breeding value (EBV) of 120 on the Udder Health index you can achieve a high reduction in the frequency of mastitis cases:

  • VikingHolstein -54%
  • VikingRed -46%
  • VikingJersey -38%
Find the best bulls to boost mastitis resistance
Boost mastitis resistance with breeding VikingHolstein

Trustworthy mastitis registrations – a key to success

The Udder Health index describes the bull’s daughters’ genetic ability to resist mastitis. It also includes breeding values for udder health in the first three lactations.

In the Nordic countries, we use both:

  • the direct measure, clinical mastitis
  • indirect measures like conformation traits (fore udder attachment and udder depth) and SCC, where the latter is only an indicator of mastitis.

Mastitis registrations come from veterinary and farmer records on clinical mastitis, and official registrations are made for 90% of cows in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. This results in highly reliable breeding values for udder health.

The Nordic countries introduced the first mastitis resistance index as early as 1982. By leveraging the Udder Health index in NTM, you benefit from four decades of meticulous data gathering and breeding know-how to enhance health and efficiencies in your dairy herd.

Check out the available bulls
Boost mastitis resistance with breeding ProCROSS
Learn about the management practices to improve udder health Check out the tips
Boost mastitis resistance with breeding

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