Economic weights of fertility, prolificacy, milk yield and longevity in dairy sheep

Neiker-Tecnalia Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Vitoria, Basque Country, Spain
animal (Impact Factor: 1.84). 03/2007; 1(2):193-203. DOI: 10.1017/S1751731107657814
Source: PubMed


Economic weights have been estimated in two breeds (Latxa and Manchega) using economic and technical data collected in 41 Latxa and 12 Manchega dairy sheep flocks. The traits considered were fertility (lambing per year), prolificacy (number of lambs), milk yield (litres) and longevity (as productive life, in years). A linear function was used, relating these traits to the different costs in the flock. The variable costs involved in the profit function were feed and labour. From this function, economic weights were obtained. Labour is considered in the Latxa breed to be a constraint. Moreover, farm profits are unusually high, which probably means that some costs were not included according to the economic theory. For that reason, a rescaling procedure was applied constraining total labour time at the farm. Genetic gains were estimated with the resulting economic weights to test if they give any practical difference. Milk yield only as selection criterion was also considered. The medians of the estimated economic weights for fertility, prolificacy, milk yield and longevity were 138.60 € per lambing, 40.00 € per lamb, 1.18 € per l, 1.66 € per year, and 137.66 € per lambing, 34.17 € per lamb, 0.73 € per l, 2.16 € per year under the linear approach in the Latxa and Manchega breeds respectively. Most differences between breeds can be related to differences in production systems. As for the genetic gains, they were very similar for all economic weights, except when only milk yield was considered, where a correlated decrease in fertility led to a strong decrease in profit. It is concluded that the estimates are robust for practical purposes and that breeding programmes should consider inclusion of fertility. More research is needed to include other traits such as somatic cell score, milk composition and udder traits.

Download full-text


Available from: Manuel Ramon, Sep 30, 2015
55 Reads
  • Source
    • "Morin and Charroin (2009) in Roquefort (France; 372 ewes and 233 L/ewe), Thomas (2004) in the United States and Canada (145 ewes and 178 L/ewe), Legarra et al. (2007) in the Basque Country (Spain; 407 ewes and 94 L/ewe), and Gelasakis et al. (2012) in Macedonia and Thessaly (Greece; 210 ewes and 277 L/ewe). Nevertheless , Legarra et al. (2007) "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Twenty dairy sheep farms of Assaf breed, located in the Spanish autonomous community of Castilla y León and included in a group receiving technical support, were used to study their production cost structure and to assess their economic profitability during 2009. On average, farms had 89.2 ± 38.0 ha (own, 38%), 592 ± 63 ewes, yielded 185.9 ± 21.1 × 10(3) L/yr (i.e., 316 ± 15 L/ewe), and were attended by 2.3 ± 0.2 annual working units (family, 72%). Total annual income was €194.4 ± 23.0 × 10(3)/yr (€1.0 = $1.3) from milk (78.6%), lamb (13.2%), culled ewes (0.5%), and other sales (0.8%, wool and manure), and completed with the European Union sheep subsidy (6.9%). Total costs were €185.9 ± 19.0 × 10(3)/yr to attend to feeding (61.6%), labor (18.2%), equipment maintenance and depreciation (7.6%), finances (3.0%), animal health (2.5%), energy, water and milking supplies (2.2%), milk recording (0.5%), and other costs (4.4%; assurances, shearing, association fees, and so on). Mean dairy sheep farm profit was €8.5 ± 5.8 × 10(3)/yr (€7.4 ± 8.3/ewe) on average, and varied between €-40.6 and €81.1/ewe among farms. Only 60% of farms were able to pay all costs, the rest had negative balances. Nevertheless, net margin was €31.0 ± 6.5 × 10(3)/yr on average, varying between €0.6 and €108.4 × 10(3)/yr among farms. In this case, without including the opportunity costs, all farms had positive balances. Total annual cost (TAC; €/ewe) and total annual income (TAI; €/ewe) depended on milk yield (MY; L/ewe) and were TAC = 161.6 + 0.502 MY (r(2) = 0.50), and TAI = 78.13 + 0.790 MY (r(2) = 0.88), respectively, with the break-even point being 291 L/ewe. Conversely, farm TAC (€/yr) and farm TAI (€/yr) were also predicted as a function of the number of ewes (NOE) per flock, as TAC = 18,401 + 282.8 NOE (r(2) = 0.89) and TAI = 330.9 NOE (r(2) = 0.98), with the break-even point being 383 ewes/flock. Finally, according to the increasing trend expected for agricultural commodity prices, it was calculated that a 10% increase of concentrate price will require 5.2% milk price increase for constant profit. Similarly, a 10% increase of forage price will require 2.0% milk price increase to maintain profitability. Under these scenarios of increasing the commodity prices of key feedstuffs, a change of flock feeding should be expected to compensate the losses in farm profitability. Most Assaf dairy sheep farms studied were economically profitable, with flock size, milk yield, and feeding costs key for their profitability.
    Journal of Dairy Science 06/2014; 97(8). DOI:10.3168/jds.2013-7884 · 2.57 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Economic weights for fat and protein of milk obtained in the present study were less than those estimated for fertility and prolificacy and greater than for milk yield and longevity. Economic weight in standardized units in Legarra et al. (2007a) were 15.07, 4.53, 10.45, and 0.34 € for fertility, prolificacy , milk production, and longevity, respectively; that is, when genetic variances of traits are taken into account, the relative economic importance of milk yield became the highest. Regarding milk components, protein yield had the largest weight, with a standardized economic weight of 7.84 €. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to estimate economic weights of major components of milk (fat and protein) for the Manchega dairy sheep breed. An economic study was carried out and the profit associated with fat and protein yields of milk was calculated as the difference between incomes and costs. Incomes were obtained from milk sales to cheese industry and a reference marked price was used. Costs were calculated considering the energy necessary to produce each of the components of milk, and the price per milk forage unit was calculated as the total expense in feedstuff divided by the total (theoretical) needs of the flock. Economic values were defined as partial derivatives of the profit function with respect to each trait. Economic weights for fat and protein yields were similar, being slightly greater for protein in all cases. For carrier, economic weights were close to zero and negative because an increase in carrier production without changes in fat and protein composition leads to an increase in energy demands, holding the sale price of milk constant. When genetic standard deviations were taken into account and standardized economic values were calculated, an increase in economic value of protein and a decrease in economic value of fat yields were observed. The consequences that different changes in production system conditions have on the estimated economic weights were also studied. In general, economic weights were relatively insensitive to changes in production levels and market prices except for changes on milk price. Given the economic importance shown for fat and protein, milk components should be taken into consideration when breeding objectives for dairy sheep are established.
    Journal of Dairy Science 07/2010; 93(7):3303-9. DOI:10.3168/jds.2009-2787 · 2.57 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Economic values for traits in dairy breeds of sheep have been published only recently. Legarra et al. (2007a, b) reported economic values for the Spanish breeds Latxa and Manchega, and Fuerst-Waltl and Baumung (2009) published economic values for Austrian dairy sheep. No economic values for Slovakian dairy breeds have been available until now. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A bioeconomic model for dairy sheep was applied to a production system with one lambing per year. The classical extensive Carpathian system with indoor winter lambing, traditional weaning, sale of surplus lambs before Easter, and a summer milking period with ewes on pasture was modeled. The economic values of 15 performance and functional traits were calculated for the Slovakian Improved Walachian multi-purpose breed. The economic values per unit increase in the traits were 0.32 euro/kg of milk yield during the standardized milking period of 150 d, 0.29 euro/0.1% milk fat, 0.42 euro/0.1% milk protein, 0.28 euro/% and 0.56 euro/% for conception rates of female lambs and ewes, respectively, 0.20 euro/0.01 lamb born, 0.0036 euro/% and 0.0040 euro/% for lamb survival at birth and until weaning, respectively, 0.65 euro/kg of birth weight, 0.032 euro/g per d daily gain from birth until weaning, -0.030 euro/kg of mature weight, -0.38 euro/0.1 and -0.21 euro/0.1 conformation quality grade for weaned lambs and adult sheep, respectively, 0.42 euro/kg of fleece weight and 11.10 euro/year of productive lifetime for ewes.
    Journal of Dairy Science 06/2009; 92(5):2195-203. DOI:10.3168/jds.2008-1412 · 2.57 Impact Factor
Show more