TONCHO PENEV1; IVILO MARINOV2; ZHIVKA GERGOVSKA2; JURII MITEV1; TCHONKA MITEVA1; DIMO DIMOV1; RUMEN BINEV3
1 Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Applied Ecology and Animal Hygiene, BG-6014 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
2 Trakia University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Animal Science, BG-6014 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
3 Trakia University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Internal Noninfectious Diseases, BG-6014 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Penev, T., I. Marinov, Zh. Gergovska, J. Mitev, Tch. Miteva, D. Dimov and R. Binev, 2017. Linear type traits for feet and legs, their relation to health traits connected with them, and with productive and reproductive traits in dairy cows. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 23 (3): 467–475
The objective of the study was to estimate the correlations between linear type traits for feet and legs, and their relation with locomotion disorders and productive and reproductive traits in Holstein cows reared in Bulgaria. The study included 136 cows from four dairy farms of different regions of Bulgaria. In all farms, cows were year-round reared group in free stalls with individual boxes for rest. In the study 7 linear type traits for feet and legs and the trait heel depth were included. On cows also a lameness scoring on a scale of 1 to 4 was carried out. Phenotypic correlations between linear traits were low. In cows with wider and parallel placed rear legs a tendency to straighter hock (-0.20) was reported, which was associated with a steeper foot (-0.16) and fl atter hocks (-0.18). Cows with thicker bones and steeper foot (0.24) had and deeper heel (-0.24). When selection for thinner bones and optimal foot angle is conducted, it would be likely the heel depth to decline. Cows with straighter hock (-0.16), lower foot angle (0.18), shallower heel (-0.25) and better locomotion (0.25) had higher milk yield for 305 days. The selection for higher milk yield will be associated with a tendency for unfavorable phenotypic deviations in the various linear traits for feet and legs, with the exception of bone structure and locomotion. Cows with more pronounced X-shaped rear legsrear view (-0.18), with fl atter and dry hocks (0.16) and with thicker bones (-0.25) had longer interval from calving to fi rst insemination. Cows with thicker bones had smaller number of inseminations for conception (0.20). The phenotypic correlations between clinical problems with feet and legs and linear traits were with low values (from -0.01 to 0.10). With the highest and negative value was the phenotypic correlation between linear trait locomotion and clinical problems with legs and feet (-0.37). Using only the linear traits for feet and legs to reduce the locomotive problems, without additional information about the various clinical problems with legs and feet will not have a considerable effect.