Interbull Routine Genetic Evaluation for Calving Traits

December 2013



The latest test international evaluation for calving traits took place as scheduled at the Interbull Centre. Data from seventeen (17) countries were included in this evaluation.

International genetic evaluations for calving traits of bulls from Australia, Austria-Germany, Belgium, Canada, Denmark-Finland-Sweden, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America were computed. Brown Swiss, Holstein, and Red Dairy Cattle breed data were included in this evaluation.

Changes in national procedures

Changes in the national genetic evaluation of calving traits are as follows:

CAN (ALL): change in assignment of codes for type of proof for domestic bulls 


Edit on inclusion of import bulls (type of proof = 21) has changed from this test run. An import AI bull with official publication status 'Y' from a given country is included Žif he has a first country proof included from a different country OR he has a second country proof included from a different country with at least 150 daughters or 150 EDCs in at least 50 herds for Holstein, 30 daughters or 30 EDCs in at least 10 herds for Guernsey, and 80 daughters or 80 EDCs in at least 20 herds for Brown Swiss, Jersey, Red Dairy Cattle, Simmental. 

Data and method of analysis

Data were national genetic evaluations of AI sampled bulls with at least 10 daughters or 10 EDC (for clinical mastitis and maternal calving traits at least 50 daughters or 50 EDC, and for direct calving traits at least 50 calvings or 50 EDC) in at least 10 herds. Table 1 presents the amount of data included in this Interbull evaluation for all breeds.

National proofs were first de-regressed within country and then analysed jointly with a linear model including the effects of evaluation country, genetic group of bull and bull merit. Heritability estimates used in both the de-regression and international evaluation were as in each country's national evaluation.

Table 2 presents the date of evaluation as supplied by each country in the 01x-proof file.

Estimated genetic parameters and sire standard deviations are shown in APPENDIX I and the corresponding number of common bulls are listed in APPENDIX II.

Scientific literature

The international genetic evaluation procedure is based on international work described in the following scientific publications:

International genetic evaluation computation:

Schaeffer. 1994. J. Dairy Sci. 77:2671-2678
Klei, 1998. Interbull Bulletin 17:3-7

Verification and Genetic trend validation:

Klei et al., 2002. Interbull Bulletin 29:178-182.
Boichard et al., 1995. J. Dairy Sci. 78:431-437

Weighting factors:

Fikse and Banos, 2001. J. Dairy Sci. 84:1759-1767


Sigurdsson and G. Banos. 1995. Acta Agric. Scand. 45:207-219
Jairath et al. 1998. J. Dairy Sci. Vol. 81:550-562

Genetic parameter estimation:

Klei and Weigel, 1998, Interbull Bulletin 17:8-14
Sullivan, 1999. Interbull Bulletin 22:146-148

Post-processing of estimated genetic correlations:

Mark et al., 2003, Interbull Bulletin 30:126-135
Jorjani et al., 2003. J. Dairy Sci. 86:677-679

Time edits

Weigel and Banos. 1997. J. Dairy Sci. 80:3425-3430

International reliability estimation

Harris and Johnson. 1998. Interbull Bulletin 17:31-36

Next routine international evaluation

The next routine evaluation of Interbull for production, conformation, udder health, longevity, calving, female fertility and workability traits is scheduled for March 2014. Deadline for sending data to the Interbull Centre is Tuesday March 11, 2014, 17:00 CET; confidential distribution of results is targeted for Thursday March 20, 2014, with earliest possible official release of results on April 1, 2014. Please remark the three week turn around time. 

Next test international evaluation

The next test run for production, conformation, udder health, longevity, calving, female fertility and workability traits will take place in January 2014.

Countries planning to introduce changes in their national evaluation procedures and wishing to have them included in the routine Interbull evaluation, should have their data examined in this test run. New data and validation results should be sent to the Interbull Centre no later than January 14, 2014, 17:00 CET.


Test evaluation results are meant for review purposes only and should not be published.