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Economic and Health Indexes : the winning combination

Genes Diffusion offers you new indexes of health traits : the hoof health and acetonemia index as well as the index of feed efficiency. All these indexes have very strong economic impact in dairy herds.

For breeders, in a difficult economic context, any economy can be essential.
For Genes Diffusion, as a genetic provider, our role is also to look at new ways to save money, especially through genetics.
This was the case in 2014, with the launch of the first specific indexes on hoof health. At the time, we were the only ones to take this path and since others have followed.
But it was just a start, we continued to listen to you and our scientists worked to bring you new selection tools for your herds.


Reduce the financial impact of lameness in your herd

Lameness in dairy farming has a strong economic impact: reduced mobility, impact on feed ability, reduced production, veterinary costs.
Since 2014, all Genes Diffusion bulls are indexed on 2 criteria of hoof health: RL = Resistance to Lesions and RP = Hoof Robustness.

Novelties 2018

Index Mortellaro (MTL) :

This index was already present in the hoof health synthesis. It is now available on an individual basis for breeders, to allow a greater selection on this disease, the main cause of lameness in the herds.

New scale of values :

The Hoof Health Indexes RL and RP are now expressed on the -2.0 / +2.0 scale in order to facilitate both reading and use in our OptiGEN computerized mating software, allowing a real work of mating, targeted and efficient.

Today, Genes Diffusion offers you 3 hoof health indexes (2 summary indexes and 1 specific index) to meet your breeding management needs.


Do not let your economic results deteriorate !

Acetonemia appears most often at the beginning of lactation, at the time of strong mobilizations of the body reserves of the cows. It leads to a decline in production and degradation of breeding results.

Unlike other diseases, if it is not necessarily very common, the ketosis or acetonemia is especially not very visible. Indeed, we rarely observe obvious clinical cases (1 to 5% of cows), but much more frequently so-called "sub-clinical" cases (7 to 25% of cows), not detectable to the eye and which can induce significant losses.

An acetonemia index, on what basis?

It is through the recording of acetone and BHB (Beta hydroxy butyrate) test results, two ketone bodies detectable in milk, that could be constituted the database.

The elaboration of the indexes was carried out by the scientists of the genomic platform GD Scan of the Genes Diffusion group, based at the Pasteur Institute of Lille, as had already been the case for the Hoof Health indexes. Their preliminary studies showed a heritability of 0.13 for acetone and 0.14 for BHB. As an indication, this level is the same as that of the somatic cells or clinical mastitis indexes.

Their expertise allowed us to reach the Acet synthesis index, combining the Acetone index and the BHB index.


Rely on performance

You see it daily in your herds, at the same level of production, some animals consume more than others. In the same way for the same consumption, some animals produce either more milk or better milk.

A Feed efficiency index, on what basis?

The Feed Efficiency Index EF is a summary index that enables to assess the productive profitability. Its calculation method, developed by the scientists of the genomic platform GD Scan, is based on the difference between the products and the costs listed below:

  • Products: Milk x (% fat + % protein), calculated from milk valorization and rates in the French system
  • Costs: maintenance needs + production needs
    • Maintenance needs: Calculated from the Body Depth, Thurl Width, Chest Width and Size indexes.
    • Production needs = energy and protein needed for milk production and milk components

Like the other specific Genes Diffusion indexes, it is expressed on a scale -2.0 / + 2.0.

By selecting on this criterion, you will be able to achieve an economy of inputs while maintaining your level of production in the same way.


International Directory
Index « Mortellaro » (MTL), was already present in the hoof health synthesis. It is now available on an individual basis for breeders, to allow a greater selection on this disease, the main cause of lameness in the herds.
The predictor entitled « Resistance to Lesions » (RL) combines genetic evaluation of different diseases and lesions than can impact the hoof of cows.. The synthesis includes resistances to sole ulcers (50%), interdigital dermatitis (25%), sole haemorrhage (20%) and interdigital hyperplasia (5%).
Gènes Diffusion has also implemented an evaluation of the « Robustness of hoof » (RP). It characterizes the genetic robustness of animals in relation to their need for trimming.