The vit will publish official breeding values of direct health traits for the Holstein and Red Holstein breed for the first time during the breeding value estimation April 2019. We would like to introduce the RZhoof today.

Feet problems can have different reasons. This is why RZhoof incorporates six different health traits. They can be conditioned by infections or caused by metabolic diseases, but mechanical overload, too. The breeding value includes the six health traits with their individual genetic parameters weighted by their importance.

The health trait Mortellaro (dermatitis digitalis) is the most important trait and weighted with 30 %. An increasing number of farms have high morbidity rates and Mortellaro is currently – besides mastitis – the most important single health problem in dairy herds. This is the reason why an estimated breeding value for Mortellaro is published with the already known “DDcontrol”, along with RZhoof. Further single traits of the RZhoof are hoof ulcer, digital phlegmona, white-line-disease, laminitis and interdigital hyperplasia.

The introduction of the RZhoof will be of great benefit in practice as it has not been possible so far to directly breed for improved hoof health. The reason is that feet and legs traits of the linear, evidentially, are barely correlated with actual hoof health. So far only the trait “locomotion” and the longevity breeding value (RZN) have a positive correlation with hoof health. So it can be said that the RZhoof will have great advantages in practice.