Dairy cattle selection programs have successfully increased genetic merit for yield. However, cow health and fertility have declined as a correlated response to selection for yield. Negative energy balance during lactation is common in high yielding dairy cows and may be, in part, responsible for reduced cow health and fertility. Body condition score (BCS) is a subjective measure of body fat and energy reserves that can be used to monitor energy balance during lactation. The objectives of this study were to estimate the heritability of BCS and early lactation BCS loss from field data and determine the genetic relationships among BCS, BCS loss, production and reproductive performance. 

C. D Dechow, G. W Rogers, J. S Clay

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 1, , 1.32, 2002
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