Clarifide Plus is the most comprehensive package of trait predictions for Holstein cattle, enabling use of genetic selection along with good herd management to help reach their herd health and profitability goals. The product includes new genomic predictions for wellness traits that provide direct indication of the genetic risk factors for six of the most common and costly animal health challenges on dairies, and also includes an exclusive new selection index, called the Dairy Wellness Profit Index (DWP$). Using DWP$ for their animal ranking allows producers to incorporate economically important traits, including the new wellness traits, to make more comprehensive and profitable genetic selection decisions.
“For the first time, dairy producers can genomically select heifers based on wellness and other economically important traits to help build a healthier, more productive herd,” said David Erf, geneticist, Zoetis Dairy Technical Services. “Clairfide Plus offers dairy producers an unprecedented opportunity to test Holstein animals early in life in order to make genetic management decisions that can significantly impact their future operation success.”
Reliable assessments are available for these six common dairy health challenges : Mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, displaced abomasum, and Ketosis.
Genetic predictions are derived from data collected from millions of health records within U.S. commercial herds, ensuring their relevance for all American operations. The average reliability predictions have an estimated reliability of 49% to 51% for the six traits in young animals, compared to animals with no testing.
“We did a lot of research, which was published over 10 years ago, to show there are genetic differences between sire families and their chances of developing health challenges such as milk fever or mastitis,” said Kent Weigel, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Dairy Science at University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Finally seeing this research get to the point of being an available tool that producers can use for making genetic selection decisions to raise animals with reduced risk for health problems is really encouraging. When you have traits that have an emphasis on health, longevity and wellness, all integrated into one package, this allows producers to make decisions earlier and invest in raising healthy animals. Healthier cows stay in the herd longer and make an enormous difference in a herd’s profitability.”