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Genetic parameters of passive transfer in Holstein calves.

I. Haagen

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06-23-2020

Abstract:

196
Genetic parameters of passive transfer in Holstein calves.
I. Haagen*1, L. Hardie1, B. Heins2, C. Dechow1. 1The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA, 2University of Minnesota Morris, MN.

The objectives of this study were to estimate genetic parameters for calf serum total protein (STP) and failure of passive transfer (FPT) and to calculate approximate genetic correlations between STP and commonly evaluated fitness and health traits. STP measurements were extracted from farm management software and available for 7518 organic Holstein calves born between July 2013 and June 2018 on 2 organic dairies. FPT was defined as calves with STP ≤5.2 g/dL and coded as a binary trait. STP and FPT variance components were estimated using single-trait linear and threshold models, respectively. In addition, a 2-trait linear animal model was used to estimate the genetic correlation between STP and FPT. All models included the fixed effects of age at measurement (1, 2, or 3 d), age of dam (2, 3, 4, 5, or ≥6 years), and herd-year-month of birth (levels = 98); random effects were birthdate within herd and direct additive genetic. Approximate genetic correlations of STP with fitness and health traits were estimated using predicted transmitting abilities from 256 proven sires with at least 10 daughters with STP measurements. In total, there were 18,566 animals in the pedigree. The heritability of STP was 0.08 � 0.02, the heritability of FPT was 0.06 � 0.04, and the genetic correlation between STP and FPT was unity. The approximate genetic correlations of STP with productive life and livability were 0.40 � 0.05 and 0.42 � 0.05, respectively. STP exhibited negative and favorable genetic correlations with sire stillbirth, daughter and sire calving ease (range −0.23 to −0.31). Further, the genetic correlation between STP and gestation length was −0.30 � 0.07, and the genetic correlation between STP and early first calving was 0.25 � 0.05. These results suggest that calf STP is heritable and genetically correlated with cow longevity and calving traits.

Keywords: calf serum total protein, heritability.