Optimising breeding strategies incorporating milk component traits and resistance to mastitis in dairy cattle in Kenya (Optimising Breeding Strategies for Milk Production)

Title Optimising breeding strategies incorporating milk component traits and resistance to mastitis in dairy cattle in Kenya (Optimising Breeding Strategies for Milk Production)
Objectives
  1. To compare the genetic and economic efficiencies of alternative breeding systems for dairy cattle.
  2. To estimate risk-rated economic values for milk protein yield and resistance to mastitis.
  3. To compare the genetic and economic efficiencies of alternative schemes breeding for milk component traits and resistance to mastitis in dairy cattle.
  4. To asses growth rate of the two fish species on different feeding regimes
Duration 1 year
Status Ongoing
Abstract In Kenya, payment for milk is likely to change from volume to milk component basis to enhance profitability of the dairy sector. Further, mastitis which is a major constraint to improved dairy productivity will need to be controlled sustainably with little effect on the cost of production. A cheaper and more sustainable strategy to control mastitis is to exploit the inherent resistance by incorporating this attribute in the breeding objective. However, the current breeding objectives for dairy cattle in Kenya do not include milk protein component and disease resistance. This study therefore aims at optimizing breeding strategies that incorporate milk components and mastitis resistance (MR) in dairy cattle. This objective will be achieved through comparing the genetic and economic efficiencies of alternative two tier nucleus breeding systems for dairy cattle and estimating risk-rated economic values for milk protein yield and resistance to mastitis. In addition, the genetic and economic efficiencies of alternative schemes breeding for milk component traits and resistance to mastitis in dairy cattle will be compared. Data will be obtained from Livestock Recording Centre (LRC). A deterministic approach and the computer program ZPLAN version z10 (William 2008) will be used for this purpose. The risk rated economic value for protein yield will be estimated using regression equations under two situations of payment of milk; based on milk volume and on volume and milk components.  Due to the nature of resistance of mastitis, the economic values value will be estimated by matching the breeding objective to the expected responses in production traits. Therefore the assumption is that animals are selected for milk and its components traits and low Somatic Cell Count (SCC). The responses in milk yield and its component traits and SCC will be estimated using selection index theory. The effect of inclusion of milk components and resistance to mastitis in the breeding objectives and the most efficient and sustainable breeding scheme for dissemination of resistant genotypes to farmers will be identified.
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