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See detailUsefulness of multi-breed models in genetic evaluation of direct and maternal calving ease in Holstein and Belgian Blue Walloon purebreds and crossbreds
Vanderick, Sylvie ULg; Gillon, Alain; Glorieux, Géry et al

in Livestock Science (2017), 198

The objective of this study was to verify the feasibility of a joint genetic evaluation system for calving ease trait of Belgian Blue (BBB) and Holstein (HOL) Walloon cattle based on data of purebred and ... [more ▼]

The objective of this study was to verify the feasibility of a joint genetic evaluation system for calving ease trait of Belgian Blue (BBB) and Holstein (HOL) Walloon cattle based on data of purebred and crossbred animals. Variance components and derived genetic parameters for purebred BBB and HOL animals were estimated by using single-breed linear animal models. This analysis showed clear genetic differences between breeds. Estimates of direct and maternal heritabilities (± standard error) were 0.34 (±0.02) and 0.09 (±0.01) for BBB, respectively, but only 0.09 (±0.01) and 0.04 (±0.01) for HOL, respectively. Moreover, a significant negative genetic correlation between direct and maternal effects was obtained in both breeds: −0.46 (±0.04) for BBB and −0.29 (±0.11) for HOL. Variance components and derived genetic parameters for purebred BBB and HOL and crossbred BBB ×× HOL cattle were then estimated by using two multi-breed linear animal models: a multi-breed model based on a random regression test-day model (Model MBV), and a multi-breed model based on the random regression multi-breed model (Model MBSM). Both multi-breed models use different functions of breed proportions as random regressions, thereby enabling modelling different additive effects according to animal's breed composition. The main difference between these models is the way in which relationships between breeds are accounted for in the genetic (co)variance structure. Genetic parameters differed between single-breed and multi-breed analysis, but are similar to the literature. For BBB, estimates of direct and maternal heritabilities (±SE) were 0.45 (±0.07) and 0.08 (±0.01) by using Model MBV, and 0.45 (±0.08) and 0.09 (±0.02) for Model MBSM, respectively. For HOL, these estimates were 0.18 (±0.04) and 0.05 (±0.01) using Model MBV, and 0.16 (±0.04) and 0.05 (±0.01) for Model MBSM, respectively. Reliability gains (up to 25%) indicated that the use of crossbred data in the multi-breed models had a positive influence on the estimation of genetic merit of purebred animals. A slight re-ranking of purebred sires and maternal grandsires was observed between single-breed and multi-breed models. Moreover, both multi-breed models can be considered as quasi-equivalent models because they performed almost equally well with respect to MSE and correlations, for purebred and crossbred animals. [less ▲]

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See detailContribution à l'optimisation technico-économique des élevages laitiers en Wallonie : l'intervalle vêlage
Dalcq, Anne-Catherine ULg; Beckers, Yves ULg; Dogot, Thomas ULg et al

Conference given outside the academic context (2016)

Au cours des dernières décennies, l’intervalle vêlage des vaches laitières a eu tendance à s’allonger au niveau mondial, européen et belge. Les causes sont multiples : évolution du système de production ... [more ▼]

Au cours des dernières décennies, l’intervalle vêlage des vaches laitières a eu tendance à s’allonger au niveau mondial, européen et belge. Les causes sont multiples : évolution du système de production laitière, augmentation du niveau de production,… Les conséquences sont nombreuses également mais se traduisent-elles par un impact économique pour l’éleveur laitier ? La recherche présentée aujourd’hui se base sur près de 1800 bilans comptables de 400 exploitations laitières, fournis par le service technico-économique de l’Association Wallonne de l’Elevage, entre 2007 et 2014, pour déterminer l’impact économique de la durée de l’intervalle vêlage et définir l’optimum technico-économique de ce paramètre de management. Faut-il garder en tête « le veau par vache et par an » ou est-il intéressant économiquement d’allonger la période entre deux vêlages pour une même vache ? L’étude révèle qu’il y a bien une relation entre l’intervalle vêlage et les résultats économiques d’une exploitation. De plus, il n’y aurait pas un seul optimum d’intervalle vêlage mais plusieurs, dépendant du type d’exploitation et plus particulièrement du mode d’alimentation. L’optimum de l’intervalle vêlage a tendance à être plus court pour les exploitations à alimentation plutôt intensive et plus long pour les exploitations à alimentation plutôt extensive. Cependant il ne s’agit que de tendances observées, un travail plus approfondi doit encore être réalisé pour confirmer ces tendances et définir des objectifs plus précis à poursuivre pour maximiser la rentabilité de son exploitation. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic heritage of the Eastern Belgium Red and White breed, an endangered local breed
Colinet, Frédéric ULg; Bouffioux, Aude; Mayeres, Patrick et al

Poster (2015, August)

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See detailGenetic heritage of the Eastern Belgium Red and White breed, an endangered local breed
Colinet, Frédéric ULg; Bouffioux, Aude; Mayeres, Patrick et al

in Book of Abstracts of the 66th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (2015, August)

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See detailEffect of calving interval on the economic results of dairy farms based on their typology.
Dalcq, Anne-Catherine ULg; Beckers, Yves ULg; Wyzen, Benoit et al

Conference (2015, July 15)

The calving interval (CI) can influence the milk production (MP) and the economic results of a farm. This research aimed to highlight the most economically important CI, on the basis of the accounts of ... [more ▼]

The calving interval (CI) can influence the milk production (MP) and the economic results of a farm. This research aimed to highlight the most economically important CI, on the basis of the accounts of breeders. The data set contained 1,318 accounts spread between 2007 and 2012. Technical information such as mean CI of the herd, percent of cows with a CI of less than 380 d (m380), between 380 and 419 d (e380419), between 420 and 459 d (e420459) and more than 459 d (p459), mean MP of the herd; as well as typological information such as quantity of equivalent concentrate (CC), number of ares of grass (GR) and of corn silage (CS) per livestock unit (LU); and economic information such as mean gross margin per cow were available. The relation between CI and the gross margin showed that if a single economic optimum of CI cannot be determined, this optimum could depend on the typology of the farm. Therefore, 4 groups were created by using a multiple correspondence analysis, including quantity of equivalent CC, number of ares of GR and of CS per LU as variables. The first group was the most intensive one with a feeding based mostly on CC and CS; the second group was similar but less intensive. The third group was the most extensive with high GR consumption. The fourth group was characterized by a near absence of CS but more CC. Moreover, m380, e380420, e420459, p459 were transformed from quantitative to qualitative variables by using numerical classification. A qualitative variable CI profile was created as a summary of all these variables. In each group, MP was modeled using the different CI variables. The assumption behind this modeling was that for a typological profile, the breeder must have the highest MP to maximize the gross margin. These models showed that MP is maximized when p459 is lower than 26%, lower than 37%, above 27% for the group 1, 2, 3 respectively. For the group 4, the model with the variable CI profile suggested that the economic optimum of CI is intermediate. These results underlined that the economic optimum of CI is related to the typology of the considered farm. Studying individual data is a perspective to determine more precisely CI with the best economic results. [less ▲]

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See detailLe travail : première approche dans des exploitations laitières wallonnes
Turlot, Amélie; Froidmont, Eric; Cardoso, C. et al

in INRA; Institut de l'Elevage (Eds.) 18èmes Journées 3R (Rencontres, Recherches, Ruminants), Paris, 7-8 décembre 2011 (2011)

En 2010, on dénombre 4.819 exploitations laitières en Wallonie, soit une diminution de 70 % depuis 1984. Parmi ces exploitations, il y a 2.133 qui sont spécialisées en lait (OTE 41). Elles disposent, en ... [more ▼]

En 2010, on dénombre 4.819 exploitations laitières en Wallonie, soit une diminution de 70 % depuis 1984. Parmi ces exploitations, il y a 2.133 qui sont spécialisées en lait (OTE 41). Elles disposent, en moyenne, de 56 ha de SAU avec un cheptel de 58 vaches laitières (VL). Le quota pour ce type d'exploitations est de +/- 451.000 l. La taille des fermes moyenne a doublé depuis 1984 or la main-d'oeuvre disponible reste constante. Comment gérer ces structures ? L'étude DiraLait s'intéresse à ce problème en réalisant une analyse globale (économie, sociale, durabilité et performance zootechniques). Le présent article se focalise uniquement sur le temps de travail. [less ▲]

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See detailAdding value to test-day data by using modified best prediction method
Gillon, Alain ULg; Abras, Sven; Mayeres, Patrick et al

in ICAR Technical Series (2010, November), 14

Computation of lactation yields from test-day data has lost much of its importance for genetic evaluations as the use of test-day models is currently quite widespread. In the other hand its interest for ... [more ▼]

Computation of lactation yields from test-day data has lost much of its importance for genetic evaluations as the use of test-day models is currently quite widespread. In the other hand its interest for intra-farm management is increasing as a base for advanced management tools. The first and principal aim of this study was to develop a method which takes into account advantages and disadvantages of existing methods, and to test its potential to provide useful management tools to dairy farmers. A test-day model with modifications to able daily run and management tools was developed. Because of its similarities with best prediction, the method developed here was called modified best prediction. The second objective was to compare the accuracy of this new method with best prediction and test interval methods. Modified best prediction showed good results for predicting daily yields and was slightly better than best prediction for lactation yields prediction. Management tools obtained with modified best prediction are explained. [less ▲]

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See detailAdding value to test-day data by using modified best prediction method
Gillon, Alain ULg; Abras, Sven; Mayeres, Patrick et al

Conference (2010, June 04)

Computation of lactation yields from test-day data has lost much of its importance for genetic evaluations as the use of test-day models is currently quite widespread. In the other hand its interest for ... [more ▼]

Computation of lactation yields from test-day data has lost much of its importance for genetic evaluations as the use of test-day models is currently quite widespread. In the other hand its interest for intra-farm management is increasing as a base for advanced management tools. The first and principal aim of this study was to develop a method which takes into account advantages and disadvantages of existing methods, and to test its potential to provide useful management tools to dairy farmers. A test-day model with modifications to able daily run and management tools was developed. Because of its similarities with best prediction, the method developed here was called modified best prediction. The second objective was to compare the accuracy of this new method with best prediction and test interval methods. Modified best prediction showed good results for predicting daily yields and was slightly better than best prediction for lactation yields prediction. Management tools obtained with modified best prediction are explained. [less ▲]

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See detailAdding value to test-day data by using modified best prediction method
Gillon, Alain ULg; Abras, Sven; Mayeres, Patrick et al

in Book of Abstracts of the 60th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production (2009, August)

Computation of lactation yields from test-day yield has lost much of its importance for genetic evaluations as <br />the use of test-day models is rather widespread. At the same time its importance for ... [more ▼]

Computation of lactation yields from test-day yield has lost much of its importance for genetic evaluations as <br />the use of test-day models is rather widespread. At the same time its importance for intra-farm management <br />increases at farms as a base for advanced management tools. The most common official method to compute <br />lactation yield is the Test Interval Method (TIM). Alternative methods for computing cumulated productions <br />were developed. These methods can be considered as improvements of TIM as the interpolation method, <br />or completely different methods as multiple-trait prediction (MTP) and best prediction (BP). Research <br />in this field has shown the potential to compute lactation parameters (e.g., cumulated production) with <br />test-day models. The aim of this study was to develop a new method which takes into account advantages <br />and disadvantages of existing methods, and to test its potential to provide useful tools to help farmers to <br />make management decisions. The second objective was to compare the accuracy and the robustness of this <br />method with those of BP and TIM. Because of its similarities with BP, the method developed here was <br />called mBP, for modified-BP. The main difference from BP is the definition of the standard lactation curve. <br />To minimize bias, components of standard lactation curves proper to each herd are computed jointly with <br />random individual effects. Recently a new version of mBP was tested that puts expectations of constant <br />animal effects to observed average values using Bayesian prediction, a feature also used by MTP. [less ▲]

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See detailVariation of delta(9)-desaturase activity in dairy cattle
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Dehareng, Frédéric; Mayeres, Patrick et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2008), 91(8), 3211-3224

The endogenous production of unsaturated fatty acids (FA), particularly some monounsaturated FA (%MONO) and nearly all conjugated linoleic acids, is regulated by the 9-desaturase activity. The aims of ... [more ▼]

The endogenous production of unsaturated fatty acids (FA), particularly some monounsaturated FA (%MONO) and nearly all conjugated linoleic acids, is regulated by the 9-desaturase activity. The aims of this study were to assess the variation of this enzymatic activity within lactation, across dairy breeds, and to estimate its genetic parameters. The ratios of C14:1 cis-9 to C14:0, C16:1 cis-9 to C16:0, and C18:1 cis to C18:0 were calculated from FA contents predicted by mid-infrared spectrometry. Variance components and standard errors were estimated using average information REML. The multitrait mixed model included as fixed effects herd × test date × class of lactation number, class of days in milk × class of lactation number, class of age × class of lactation number, and regressions on breed composition. Four random effects were also included: animal genetic effect, 2 permanent environments (within and across lactations), and residual effect. Under the assumption that the calculated ratios are an approximate measurement of 9-desaturase activity, this study showed different sources of variation for this enzymatic activity. A slight difference was observed within lactation. The ratios of C14:1 cis-9 to C14:0 and C16:1 cis-9 to C16:0 increased as a function of days in milk. Differences across 7 dairy breeds were observed. The values of 9-desaturase indices observed for Jersey and Brown-Swiss cows were lower compared with Holstein. The opposite was observed for dual-purpose Belgian Blue cows. Values of heritability for the ratios of C14:1 cis-9 to C14:0, C16:1 cis-9 to C16:0, and C18:1 cis to C18:0 were 20, 20, and 3%, respectively. Negative genetic correlations observed between fat or protein contents and the 3 indices suggested that an increased activity of 9-desaturase could inhibit the synthesis of fat and protein in bovine milk. Negative correlations were also observed between fat or protein contents and the contents of 3 studied unsaturated FA in milk fat (C14:1 cis-9, C16:1 cis-9, and C18:1 cis). The positive genetic correlations observed between %MONO and the ratios of C14:1 cis-9 to C14:0 (0.72), C16:1 cis-9 to C16:0 (0.62), and C18:1 cis to C18:0 (0.97) showed that %MONO is linked to the 9-desaturase activity. [less ▲]

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See detailProduire de la viande et du lait avec la Blanc-Bleu Belge de type mixte
Bastin, Catherine ULg; Mayeres, Patrick; Bertozzi, Carlo et al

in 12ième Carrefour des Productions animales: Le marché de la viande bovine, enjeux et perspectives: Gembloux, le 24 janvier 2007 (2007, January 24)

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See detailProduire de la viande et du lait avec la Blanc-Bleu Belge de type mixte
Bastin, Catherine ULg; Mayeres, Patrick; Bertozzi, Carlo et al

Poster (2007, January 24)

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See detailGenetic evaluation for birth traits in dual-purpose Belgian Blue using a mixed inheritance model
Mayeres, Patrick; Verkenne, C; Michaux, Charles ULg et al

Diverse speeche and writing (2007)

In this study a genetic evaluation, based on a mixed inheritance model, was developed for birth traits (calving ease, gestation length and birth weight) in dual-purpose Belgian Blue (dpBB), a separated ... [more ▼]

In this study a genetic evaluation, based on a mixed inheritance model, was developed for birth traits (calving ease, gestation length and birth weight) in dual-purpose Belgian Blue (dpBB), a separated type inside Belgian Blue Herd-book. About 80% of dpBB animals have a single or a double copy of the muscular hypertrophy gene. This heterogeneity is the reason of a great variability in birth performance traits like calving ease or birth weight. The muscular hypertrophy gene substitution and dominance effects for calf genotype had a significant impact both on birth weight and calving ease, in accordance with partially recessive expression of the muscular hypertrophy gene. Observed high heritability estimates of direct calving ease (0.334) and birth weight (0.260) suggested that a large genetic variability for birth traits was present in dpBB, and that genetic improvement was possible through selection. This variability has allowed dpBB breeders to apply mass selection successfully in the past. However analysis of breeding values showed that a sire selection for calving ease within genotype was progressively applied by breeders, the selection intensity being more important for calving ease in double muscled lines. This study illustrated the possible confusion that can appear by the use of a major gene in selection, and the importance to use appropriated models combining polygenic and monogenic information, like mixed inheritance models. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimation of heritability and genetic correlations for the major fatty acids in bovine milk
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Gillon, Alain ULg; Vanderick, Sylvie ULg et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90(9), 4435-4442

The current cattle selection program for dairy cattle in the Walloon region of Belgium does not consider the relative content of the different fatty acids (FA) in milk. However, interest by the local ... [more ▼]

The current cattle selection program for dairy cattle in the Walloon region of Belgium does not consider the relative content of the different fatty acids (FA) in milk. However, interest by the local dairy industry in differentiated milk products is increasing. Therefore, farmers may be interested in selecting their animals based on the fat composition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of genetic selection to improve the nutritional quality of bovine milk fat. The heritabilities and correlations among milk yield, fat, protein, and major FA contents in milk were estimated. Heritabilities for FA in milk and fat ranged from 5 to 38%. The genetic correlations estimated among FA reflected the common origin of several groups of FA. Given these results, an index including FA contents with the similar metabolic process of production in the mammary gland could be used, for example, to increase the monounsaturated and conjugated fatty acids in milk. Moreover, the genetic correlations between the percentage of fat and the content of C14:0, C12:0, C16:0, and C18:0 in fat were −0.06, 0.55, 0.60, and 0.84, respectively. This result demonstrates that an increase in fat content is not directly correlated with undesirable changes in FA profile in milk for human health. Based on the obtained genetic parameters, a future selection program to improve the FA composition of milk fat could be initiated. [less ▲]

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See detailBlanc-Bleu Mixte: Spécificités des Elevages
Bastin, Catherine ULg; Mayeres, Patrick

Article for general public (2007)

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See detailLinear and curvilinear effects of inbreeding on production traits for walloon Holstein cows
Croquet, Coraline; Mayeres, Patrick; Gillon, Alain ULg et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2007), 90(1), 465-471

The nonlinear effects of inbreeding were studied by comparing linear and curvilinear regression models of phenotypic performances on inbreeding coefficients for production traits (milk, fat, and protein ... [more ▼]

The nonlinear effects of inbreeding were studied by comparing linear and curvilinear regression models of phenotypic performances on inbreeding coefficients for production traits (milk, fat, and protein yields) of Holstein cows in their first lactation. Three different regression models (linear, quadratic, and cubic) were introduced separately into a single-trait, single-lactation, random regression test-day model. The significance of the different regression coefficients was studied based on a t-test after estimation of error variances and covariances associated with the different regression coefficients. All of the tested regression coefficients were significantly different from 0. The traditional regression coefficients of milk, fat, and protein yields on inbreeding were, respectively, -22.10, -1.10, and -0.72 kg for Holstein cows in their first lactation. However, the estimates of 305-d production losses for various classes of animals based on inbreeding coefficients showed that the effect of inbreeding was not a linear function of the percentage of inbreeding. The 305-d milk yield loss profiles attributable to inbreeding, obtained by the various regression models, were different. However, for inbreeding coefficients between 0 and 10%, these differences were small. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic parameters of the major fatty acid (FA) contents in cow milk
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Gillon, Alain ULg; Vanderick, Sylvie ULg et al

in Book of Abstracts of the 58th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production (2007)

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See detailEstimating fatty acid content in cow milk using mid-infrared spectrometry
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Dardenne, Pierre; Dehareng, Frédéric et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2006), 89(9), 3690-3695

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See detailWithin and across breeds differences in fatty acids profiles of milk and milk fat in dairy cows
Soyeurt, Hélène ULg; Dardenne, Pierre; Mayeres, Patrick et al

Poster (2006, August)

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