RULES AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE PERFORMANCE TEST
The Herd Book Regulations (enclosure B- Application Rules) require that to be admitted to the progeny test of the Italian Brown breed all young bulls must be performance tested at the Genetic Center of the Italian Brown Breeders Association in Bussolengo (VR) under the technical regulations drawn up according to the decisions made by the Central Technical Commission on 22/1/1990, 23/9/1991 and 26/6/1992.
A) AMMISSION TO PEFORMANCE TEST
- Genetic Requirements.
The Performance Test is taken by all the young bulls that meet the requirements set by the Technical Rules of the Herd Book Regulations.
The Herdbook and the Genetic Center Technicians meet regularly in order to verify the minimum requirements in the pedigrees.
As a rule young bulls are admitted to the Genetic Center when they are six months old. Under special circumstances, an exception can be made to admit older bulls to the Center. Young bulls leave the Center when they are 12/14 months old, at the end of all the necessary tests.
Both parents of the young bulls must have a pedigree compatibility certified with “S” by two tests taken both before the admission to the Genetic Center and during the stay at the Genetic Centre.
- Admission of foreign young bulls and young bulls born from imported embryos.
Foreign young bulls can be admitted to the Genetic Center but their number will not exceed the 10% of the young bulls on performance test in the previous year. Also young bulls born from embryos produced abroad can be admitted to the Genetic Center but their number will not exceed the 10% of the young bulls on performance test in the previous year.
The Organizations, the Unions and the Associations in charge of the performance test of no less than ten bulls per year can authorize the admission of foreign young bulls and young bulls born from foreign embryos to the Genetic Center.
- Health requirements.
The health tests are taken in the herd of origin. On arriving at the Genetic Center young bulls stay in an isolation barn and later they are moved to the performance test barn where the health program goes on according to the dates, the procedures and the technical and health rules provided for by the Italian Laws and the UE rules for the genetic centers as long as the bulls stay at the Center.
The k-casein genotype of each tested bull is determined.
The karyotype of each tested bull is determined in order to verify any chromosomal anomalies.
- Genetic Diseases.
- Type and Biometrics Values.
In order to verify if the growth and the well-proportioned development of the young bulls are included in the breed standards the following tests are taken:
- type evaluation made by a breed expert on the arrival at the performance test barn and on leaving it. This evaluation is valid for the registration in the Herdbook.
- biometrics measurements at 7, 10, 13 months of age.
- Weight increase.
Young bulls are weighted on their arrival at the Genetic Center and when they leave it. During the Performance Test they are weighted every four weeks, at the same hour.
- Sexual Activity
When young bulls reach puberty, they are trained to mating and their libido is evaluated.
- Semen Quality
The collected semen, fresh or frozen, is later analyzed in order to test its main features: quantity, motility, concentration, resistance, etc.
Some semen samples are sent to a specialized laboratory where the semen characteristics are furtherly analyzed.
- Young bulls are fed according to a feeding program based on:
- individual controlled distribution of concentrates using a computer controlled automatic feeder
- hay on request
C) END OF THE PERFORMANCE TEST
At the end of the performance test period the Herdbook and the Genetic Center Technicians examine the type, genetic, health and aptitude requirements of each bull according to the collected and elaborated data and express their opinion about the admission of the bull to a progeny test and to a semen production center.
Bulls maintain the health certifications acquired during their staying at the Center.
D) SPECIAL BULLS AND NEW BLOOD LINE BULLS (waiting for evaluation)
Inside the Genetic Center area there is a barn with single stalls where bulls with a particular genetic value or from new blood lines can be kept while waiting for their progeny test.
This satisfy the requirements of some foreign countries which buy semen only if the bull is still alive.