Herd simulation modelling has been recognized as a relevant method to study reproduction management strategies in a dairy herd (Dijkhuizen et al., 1997; Marsh et al., 1987; Østergaard et al., 2005a). These models estimate the technical and economic effects of certain replacement and breeding strategies based on the phenotypical states of the individual animals over a number of years. Typically, the genetic levels of replacement heifers in these models are not different from those of the culling candidates in the herd; continuous genetic improvement in the population is ignored. The importance of including genetic progress when evaluating reproductive strategies with simulation models has not been explored. Improved reproductive efficiency does allow a higher selection intensity of which cows to stay in the herd and give birth to own young stock.
Farm Animal Health Economics, 2010, p. 80-88
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International workshop held at Nantes-Atlantic NationalCollege of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science andEngineering (ONIRIS)14-15 January 2010