22 November 1996

PEDAL TRAITS COULD APPEAR IN NEXT YEARS ILQM INDEX

BULL rankings on the Italian ILQM type and production index may take account of foot and leg traits when the index is changed in early 1997.

So says Enrico Dadati who helped develop the index with ANAFI (the Italian holstein association) and is now working for the Top One Project.

Currently the ILQM only includes a score for udder traits – said to influence longevity. The concern is that this may allow udder improving bulls to jump up the rankings. The composite udder score makes up 20% of the ILQM and production accounts for 80%, with the main emphasis on kgs of protein.

"Heritability of feet and leg traits was thought to be low until recent studies in Italy," he says. "Management is more important than breeding for good feet and legs.

"For marketing bulls it would be better to have feet and leg traits in the index but the change their inclusion will make in the index rankings will be small. And selecting bulls and cows for type should go beyond the indexes.

"Composite indexes will never incorporate all the things that go into a herd breeding programme."


Top 10 Italian bulls ranked on ILQM

BullILQM

Del Santo Corsaro2339

Sabbiona Gigh2072

Pirocco Magnitude2023

Vaye Leadman Extrafelix2016

Abbadia Napo2001

Del Santo Damasco1986

S Fermo Aerostar Raven1984

Cristella Califfo1984

Mao1969

Valbas Arpagone1948