The new evaluation of December 2021 is now out and there is a lot of news!
First of all, ANAFIBJ has reviewed the Udder Composite Index ICM.
In the Italian Holstein Friesian morphology evaluation, the 40% of the score depends from the Udder.
The Udder of the modern dairy cows must be functional and adaptable to the modern system of milking and farming.
The ICM is a composite index, given by many different indexes, derived from the linear traits of bulls daughters. Each index has a specific weight on the ICM formula, depending on the association with the functional longevity of the cows.
One of the main problems of the modern cows is that rear teats are too much close and short. As a matter of fact, the teat length has been reduced in the last years: in 1999 the teat length was still correct but in 2017 its standard deviation was of -0.20.
Also, the teat placement often does not allow a correct milking, because teat are not in the ideal place.
According to the data collection of the morphology evaluations of the last decade, the percentage of cows with wide or close teat is nearly doubled, from 21% in 2010 to 41% in 2020.
Moreover, cows with incorrect teat placement or length are linked to a higher chance of Udder issues.
The update of the Udder Composite Index has the aim to improve the length and the placement of teats, and to develop the udder in the upper side.
The new ICM composition gives a higher weight to the length of the fore teats and the rear teat placement.