224 Research paper – Roche – 2018 – Review_ New considerations to refine breeding objectives of dairy cows for increasing robustness and sustainability of grass-base

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224 Research paper – Roche – 2018 – Review_ New considerations to refine breeding objectives of dairy cows for increasing robustness and sustainability of grass-base

In Significant Impact Groups:
Breeding for disease resistance or robustness \
Species targeted: Dairy;
Age: Adult;
Summary:
Where to find the original material:
Country: NZ
Although food from grazed animals is increasingly sought by consumers because of perceived animal welfare advantages, grazing systems provide the farmer and the animal with unique challenges. The cow may have to walk long distances and be able to harvest feed efficiently in a highly competitive environment because of the need for high levels of pasture utilisation. She must be: highly fertile, with a requirement for pregnancy within ~80 days post-calving; ‘easy care’, because of the need for the management of large herds with limited labour; able to walk long distances; and robust to changes in feed supply and quality, so that short-term nutritional insults do not unduly influence her production and reproduction cycles. In the future, there will be greater emphasis on more difficult to measure traits that are important to the quality of life of the animal in each production system and to reduce the system’s environmental footprint.