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Relationship between profitability and type traits and derivation of economic values for reproduction and survival traits in Chianina beef cows F. Forabosco, R. Bozzi, P. Boettcher, F. Filippini, P. Bijma and J. A. M. Van Arendonk J Anim Sci 2005. 83:2043-2051.

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Relationship between profitability and type traits and derivation of economic values for reproduction and survival traits in Chianina beef cows
F. Forabosco*†1, R. Bozzi‡, P. Boettcher§, F. Filippini*, P. Bijma†, and J. A. M. Van Arendonk†
*Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Bovini Italianida Carne, 06070 S. Martino in Colle, Italy; †Animal Breeding and Genetics Group, Wageningen University, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands; ‡Department of Animal Science, University of Florence, 50144 Florence, Italy; and §Istituto Biologia e Biotecnologia Agraria, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Segrate, Italy 20090

ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were 1) to propose a profitfunction for Italian Chianina beef cattle; 2) to derive economic values for some biological variables in beef cows, specifically, production expressed as the number of calves born alive per year (NACY), age at the insemination that resulted in the birth of the first calf (FI), and length of productive life (LPL); and 3) to investigate the relationship between the phenotypic profit function and type traitsas early predictors of profitability in the Chianina beef cattle population. The average profit was 196€/(cow yr) for the length of productive life (LPL) and was obtained as the difference between the average income of 1,375€/ (cow yr) for LPL and costs of 1,178€/(cow yr) of LPL. The mean LPL was equal to 5.97 yr, so the average

total phenotypic profit per cow on a lifetime basis was 1,175€. Anormative approach was used to derive the economic weights for the biological variables. The most important trait was the number of calves born alive (+4.03€ cow−1 yr−1 and +24.06€/cow). An increase of 1 d in LPL was associated with an increase of +0.19€/ (cow yr) and +1.65€/cow on a lifetime basis. Increasing FI by 1 d decreased profit by 0.42€/(cow yr) and 2.51€/ cow. Phenotypic profit per cow had aheritability of 0.29. Heritabilities for eight muscularity traits ranged from 0.16 to 0.23, and for the seven body size traits between 0.21 and 0.30. The conformation trait final score can be used as an early predictor of profitability. The sale price of the animal and differences in the revenue and costs of offspring due to muscularity should be included in a future profit function.

Key Words:Chianina, Economic Values, Genetic Analysis, Profit Function, Type Traits
2005 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved. J. Anim. Sci. 2005. 83:2043–2051

The general breeding goal in beef cattle is to obtain a new generation of animals that are better adapted to the expected future production circumstances than their parents. When several traits are included in thebreeding goal, economic values are used to combine EBV for the individual component traits into an overall EBV for economic merit. Different methods are available to calculate economic values. Two approaches of deriving economic weights can be distinguished: 1) a positive approach that involves the use of historical prices; and 2) a normative approach that involves the use of a profit function orbioeconomic model (Hazel, 1943; Groen, 1990; Van Arendonk, 1991; Wilton and

Correspondence: Vio Viscioloso (phone: +39-075-6070034; e-mail: Received February 17, 2005. Accepted May 20, 2005.


Goddard, 1996). In most studies that have addressed individual cow (predominantly dairy cattle) profitabil´ ity (Van Arendonk, 1991; Perez-Cabal and Alenda, 2002, 2003) or herd...
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