NEW Jersey Scorecard

June 20, 2016

Classifying is an inexpensive management tool that evaluates the functional conformation of dairy cows. When used with corrective mating strategies, classification can lead to accelerated genetic progress, profitability and longevity.

Working with head classifiers Carolin Turner and Bruno Jubinville, the Genetic Improvement Committee recently made updates to the Jersey scorecard. The process included an on-farm meeting, where committee members critically analyzed the current classification scorecard using Jersey cows as examples.

Before approving any proposed changes to the scorecard, the committee worked with Holstein Canada employees to create simulations to demonstrate how the proposed scorecard would impact overall final scores. The simulation reflected that if the cows scored during 2015 had been evaluated using the proposed changes, the vast majority (88%) of animals would have earned the same final score as they actually received in 2015. The remaining 12% of animals would have earned a final score within one point of their actual 2015 final score. The committee agreed that the proposed adjustments reflect an accurate evaluation of the animals, and that the most significant benefits to the changes will come from the individual descriptive trait evaluations.

Effective June 2016, the following changes will be implemented:

  • Rump Angle will now account for 24% of the total Rump section (previously 34%); and the ideal codes of 5 and 6 will represent a 1.75” to 2.00” slope from hips to pins.
  • Thurl placement will now account for 23% of the total Rump section (previously 13%).
  • In the Mammary System section, the linear codes for Rear Attachment Height have each been adjusted by 0.5”.  
  • Foot Angle will now account for 17% of the total Feet & Legs section (previously 22%); and Thurl Placement will now account for 5% of the total Feet & Legs sections.

Going forward, the overall section weightings for the Jersey classification scorecard will be:

  • Rump 8% (no change)
  • Mammary System 48% (no change)
  • Dairy Strength 26% (was 29%)
  • Feet & Legs 18% (was 15%)

The Jersey classification scorecard places the most emphasis on Mammary System, which accounts for 48% of the Final Score. There is now an increased emphasis on Feet & Legs, which accounts for 18% of the Final Score. This is largely due to the fact that evidence supports the Genetic Evaluation Committee’s belief that sound Feet and Legs, and functional Udder Conformation contribute most significantly to the longevity and profitability of the animal. 

Canada is recognized as a global leader for quality and consistency of conformation in Jerseys. The recent updates to the Jersey Classification Scorecard will help ensure the genetic progress of the Jersey breed with profitable and long-lasting cows. All of our Jersey Canada members and Canadian Jersey Breeder subscribers will be receiving a complimentary copy of the Conformation Assessment poster in the September issue of ‘The Breeder’.

Learn more about the program.

Jersey Classification Poster