RZcalfhealth

Since August 2019 there has been a new breeding value, considering the raising period of calves.

In addition to the new health breeding values and the already existing breeding value for stillbirths, it is now possible to develop a breeding value for the fitness and vitality of calves in the rearing period on the basis of the comprehensive data basis. Based on the data of approximately 8 million female calves born since 2006, the new RZcalfhealth describes the genetic ability to survive the rearing period from day 2 to 15 months of age. Only female calves are considered here as male calves usually are sold to fattening farms at the age of 14 days. As losses within the different age segments are caused by different diseases, a distinction is made in the estimation model between five age segments (days 3-14, 15-60, 61-120, 121-200, 201-458).

The published breeding value RZcalfhealth is expressed on the usual relative scale (average 100, std. dev. 12). High breeding values indicate increased calf survival, i.e. less losses. The average of 100 corresponds to about 93 % of survived animals up to 15 month of age. About 60 % of young stock losses occur during the first two periods up to 60 days. The reliability of the pure genomic RZcalfhealth is 51 %.