Evaluation of score for subclinical ketosis risk in Czech Holstein cows

Eva Kasna, Ludmila Zavadilova, David Lipovsky


Submitted 2020-07-17 | Accepted 2020-08-18 | Available 2020-12-01


This study aimed to evaluate the score for subclinical ketosis risk, which is routinely monitored in Czech Holstein cows. The score is based on milk recording indicator traits which include fat-to-protein ratio, fat-to-lactose ratio, citric acid, β-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone concentrations. The score was significantly (P <0.001) affected by the age of cow at calving, days in milk (DIM) and season of test-day recording. Variance components were estimated with a univariate linear animal model for the score on the first test-day and with a multivariate linear animal model for the score in 3 successive test-days (6-40, 30-70, 60-100 DIM). The heritability estimate was lower at the beginning of lactation (0.08) and increased gradually to 0.11 at the end of the recorded period. Genetic correlations between the score at the first and the other two test-days were lower than 1 indicating that they are genetically different traits. Estimated breeding values were normally distributed with mean 0.20 and reliabilities up to 0.66 in females and 0.98 in males. Breeding values were negatively correlated with most of other routinely evaluated traits, with the strongest correlations with milk fat percentage (0.39), body condition score (-0.26) and fertility of cows (-0.25). The score for subclinical ketosis risk showed sufficient genetic variability and had the potential to be used in genetic improvement of resistance to (sub)clinical ketosis of Czech Holstein cows.

Keywords: metabolic status, indicator trait, ketone body


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