The A, B, Cs of a Registered Jersey Pedigree

There is a wealth of information on a Registered Jersey pedigree, so much that it needs to be condensed in the form of abbreviations and acronyms to fit on a page. Even for seasoned Jersey breeders, the breadth of information―more than 70 bits of information―can be overwhelming. As well, new traits are continually being added and formats are occasionally changed.

The A, B, Cs of Jersey Performance Pedigrees is written to help Jersey breeders better use and understand the information on official performance pedigrees from the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA).

For starts, it is useful to know how information is displayed on a pedigree. Much like a family tree, information for the animal itself is published at the top of the page. Information for the sire and dam is below this on the left and information for paternal and maternal grandparents is on the right. Pedigrees include phenotypic (performance of animal itself) and genotypic information (prediction of what will be transmitted) and permanent identification information too.

In the sample pedigree below, information on the pedigree is highlighted with a color that corresponds to its abbreviation or acronym and definition.

For purposes of illustration, we have chosen an animal with a pedigree full of information: a genotyped cow with appraisal and lactation information, many genotyped offspring, and dams with performance information.

Please keep in mind that pedigrees for ungenotyped animals will have genetic evaluations rather than genomic evaluations. Pedigrees for heifers will have P-levels but no production, appraisal, or progeny information since they do not have any performance information to include.

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Click here to download a PDF of the pedigree so you can print or view alongside the definitions.

%ILE (Percentile): Indicates an animal’s ranking relative to all others of its sex for PTA or GPTA. Values range from 1-99%. (CDCB genetics: pink)

%R (Reliability): A measure of the amount of information in a genetic evaluation. Expressed as a percentage, generally ranging from 35% to 99%. Genotyped animals with many progeny and genotyped ancestors have the highest Reliabilities. Ungenotyped heifers and bulls with no genotyped ancestors have the lowest Reliabilities. Reliabilities are associated with PTA/GPTA, JPI/GJPI, PA JPI, and PTAT/GPTAT. (CDCB genetics: pink) (AJCA genetics: purple)

%RIP (Records in Progress): The percentage of daughter lactation records in a bull’s genetic evaluation that are incomplete, or fewer than 305 days in length, and have been extended to enable a genetic evaluation. (CDCB genetics: pink)

A2A2 / A1A2: Status for the beta casein gene when animal has been tested for it. Animal will be homozygous A2A2 or A1A1 or heterozygous A1A2. Not displayed on sample pedigree but would be published to the right of JNS status. (genotyping: gold)

AJCA (American Jersey Cattle Association): Organization that publishes performance pedigrees for Registered Jersey cattle and genetic evaluations for PTAT/GPTAT, JUI/GJUI, JPI/GJPI. Date of genetic evaluation published with the trait values. (AJCA genetics: purple)

AMERICAN ID EARTAG: Permanent identification number associated with JerseyTags (or other tags from AllFlex) and/or tattoos. Tag and tattoo numbers are labeled as follows: right ear (published before dash) / left ear (published after dash). The animal’s registration number will begin with 067 or 068. Published only for animals identified with this method. (permanent identification: blue)

BBR (Breed Base Representation): Genotyped animals only. Assesses the degree to which alleles in the animal’s genome are in common with the allele frequency of the breed reference group. The more they resemble the breed reference group, the higher the BBR. Values range from 0-100, with those above 94 reported as 100. (genotyping: gold)

BORN: Animal’s birthdate. (permanent identification: blue)

BREEDER: Name, address and account number of recorded owner of dam at conception of animal. (ownership: orange)

C (Cheese Yield): Abbreviation for cheese yield. Represents yield in pounds when associated with lactation information. (performance: green)

CCR (Cow Conception Rate): A genetic predictor of a lactating cow’s ability to conceive. Defined as a percentage of inseminated cows that become pregnant at each service. A CCR of +1.0 implies daughters are 1% more likely to become pregnant than daughters with an evaluation of +0.0. (CDCB genetics: pink)

CDCB (Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding): Organization that calculates genomic evaluations monthly and traditional genetic evaluations three times each year. Date of genetic evaluation published with trait values. (CDCB genetics: pink)

CM$ (Cheese Merit Dollars): A comprehensive economic index to predict an animal’s lifetime profit in a cheese market. CM$ incorporates the same traits as NM$ but places more emphasis on protein and fat test. (CDCB genetics: pink)

CONTROL #: Dairy Herd Information (DHI) processing center control number. For cows only. (permanent identification: blue)

DAB (Displaced Abomasum): One of six genetic evaluations for health traits adopted in 2020. Used to predict likelihood of animal to experience a displaced abomasum. Higher values are more desirable. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from -0.7 to +1.0, with an average of +0.1. (CDCB genetics: pink)

DAUS (Daughters): The number of daughters included in a bull’s genetic evaluation. (CDCB genetics: pink)

DCR (Data Collection Rating) / DHIR: An assessment of the frequency and type of tests of a lactation record and the amount of supervision. Associated with programs administered by DHI. Values range from a high 104DCR to a low 0DCR. The acronym DHIR may be used in place of DCR for records over 305 days in length. (performance: green)

DF (Dairy Form): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, dairy form, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

DHI HERD #: Identifies the herd in which the animal is managed. The first two digits identify the state. The third and fourth identify the county within the state. The last four are the unique number of the herd within the county. (ownership: orange)

DPR (Daughter Pregnancy Rate): One of three genetic measures of female fertility, along with CCR and DCR. Defined as the percentage of nonpregnant cows that become pregnant during each estrus cycle. A DPR of +1.0 implies that daughters of a bull are 1% more likely to become pregnant during that estrus cycle than those with an evaluation of +0.0. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from -6.5 to +6.6, with an average of +0.0. (CDCB genetics: pink)

EFI (Expected Future Inbreeding) / GFI (Genomic Future Inbreeding): EFI is associated with traditional genetic evaluations; GFI is for genomic evaluations. An estimate of future progeny inbreeding, assuming the animal is mated randomly to the current population. GFI is based on actual homozygosity and percentage of genes in common with the genotyped Jersey population. (genetics: gold)

ELECTRONIC ID: Permanent identification number associated with the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) using electronic radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. Generally, this number and the registration number will be the same. If recorded in the U.S. herdbook, the number will begin with 840. Published only for animals identified with this method. (permanent identification: blue)

F (Fat): Abbreviation for fat. Represents yield in pounds when associated with lactation information. Predicts daughter performance when associated with the genetic evaluation. (CDCB genetics: pink) (performance: green)

FA (Foot Angle): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, foot angle, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

Final Score: Published with age of cow at appraisal in performance block just below lactation records (83% for example). (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

FM$ (Fluid Merit Dollars): A comprehensive economic index to predict an animal’s lifetime profit in a fluid milk market. FM$ incorporates the same traits as NM$ but places more emphasis on milk yield. (CDCB genetics: pink)

FU (Fore Udder): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, fore udder, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

GM$ (Grazing Merit Dollars): A comprehensive economic index to predict an animal’s lifetime profit for dairy farmers that intensively graze their herds. (CDCB genetics: pink)

GT (Genotyped): Indicates animal has been genotyped and has a genomic evaluation. The density of the genotyping test accompanies the label (GT29K for genotyping with the 29K chip, for example). If a genomic evaluation has been imputed, the abbreviation GI will be used. If it is based on genotyped ancestors, the abbreviation GA will be used. (genotyping: gold)

HCR (Heifer Conception Rate): A genetic predictor of a maiden heifer’s ability to conceive. Defined as a percentage of inseminated heifers that become pregnant at each service. An HCR of +1.0 implies daughters are 1% more likely to become pregnant than daughters with an evaluation of +0.0. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from -3.0 to +6.8, with an average of +1.4. (CDCB genetics: pink)

HRDS (Herds): The number of herds in which daughters that contribute to a bull’s proof are managed. (CDCB genetics: pink)

HTI (Health Trait Index): A trait that combines the six new health traits―DA, KET, MAS, MET, MFV and RPL―into a single index. Higher values are more desirable. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from -10.56 to +11.57, with an average of -0.14. (CDCB genetics: pink)

JH1 (Jersey Haplotype 1): Status for JH1 reported for animals genotyped with chip densities of 6K or higher. An animal designated free is identified as JH1F. A designated carrier is identified as JH1C. (genotyping: gold)

JNS (Jersey Neuropathy and Splayed Forelimbs): Status for JNS. An animal designated free is identified as JNSF. A designated carrier is identified as JNSC. (genetics: gold)

JPI (Jersey Performance Index) / GJPI (Genomic JPI): The all-encompassing profitability index developed specifically for Jerseys. Based on production (49%), functional type and udders (19.4%), fertility (14.5%), survival traits (8%) and health traits (4.6%). (AJCA genetics: purple)

JUI (Jersey Udder Index) / GJUI (Genomic JUI): A composite trait that combines the udder traits―fore udder, rear udder height, rear udder width, udder cleft, udder depth, teat placement and teat length―into a single index. (AJCA genetics: purple)

KET (Ketosis): One of six genetic evaluations for health traits adopted in 2020. Used to predict likelihood of animal to experience ketosis. Higher values are more desirable. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from -1.6 to +1.3, with an average of +0.0. (CDCB genetics: pink)

L (Lactation): Associated with ME average for production. Indicates number of lactations included in average. Lactation information for actual production is also included in the block of performance information in the following format: age at calving, length of record in days, times milked per day, milk yield in pounds, fat test, fat yield in pounds, protein test, protein yield in pounds, DCR of record, cheese yield in pounds. If a verification test was conducted during the lactation, a “V” is published with the record. Records will be truncated if space is an issue, beginning with the paternal and maternal grandams. (performance: green)

LIV (Livability): A genetic predictor of a cow’s ability to remain alive. LIV is defined as the probability of a lactation not ending in death or on-farm euthanasia. LIV is correlated with Productive Life (PL), DPR, CCR and HCR. It is negatively correlated to PTAM. Higher values are more desirable. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from -5.6 to +5.1, with an average of +0.3. (CDCB genetics: pink)

M (Milk): Abbreviation for milk. Represents yield in pounds when associated with lactation information. Predicts daughter performance when associated with the genetic evaluation. (CDCB genetics: pink) (performance: green)

MAS (Mastitis): One of six genetic evaluations for health traits adopted in 2020. Used to predict likelihood of animal to experience mastitis. Most highly heritable (3.1%) of the new health traits. Higher values are more desirable. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from -7.4 to +3.7, with an average of -0.8. (CDCB genetics: pink)

ME AVG (ME Average): An average for ME calculated across all lactations. ME is a standardized reporting of yield so production can be compared. The ME formula uses five factors―number of milkings per day, age at calving, previous days open, season of calving and region of the country―to predict what the record would be if it were completed by mature cow in an average environment. (performance: green)

MET (Metritis): One of six genetic evaluations for health traits adopted in 2020. Used to predict likelihood of animal to experience metritis. Higher values are more desirable. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from -3.4 to +1.2, with an average of -0.1. (CDCB genetics: pink)

MFV (Milk Fever): One of six genetic evaluations for health traits adopted in 2020. Used to predict likelihood of animal to experience milk fever, or hypocalcemia. Higher values are more desirable. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from -0.3 to +0.4, with an average of +0.1 (CDCB genetics: pink)

NM$ (Net Merit Dollars): A comprehensive economic index to predict an animal’s lifetime profit. (CDCB genetics: pink)

OWNER: Name, address and account number of recorded owner on file with the AJCA. (ownership: orange)

P (Protein): Abbreviation for protein. Represents yield in pounds when associated with lactation information. Predicts daughter performance when associated with the genetic evaluation. (CDCB genetics: pink) (performance: green)

PL (Productive Life): A genetic predictor of longevity, or the number of days a cow will lactate during her lifetime. Defined as the time in the milking herd before removal by voluntary culling, involuntary culling, or death. PL is correlated with milk, fat and protein yield, somatic cell score, DPR and certain appraisal traits. It differs from LIV in that it considers voluntary and involuntary culling as reasons for leaving the herd. Higher values are more desirable. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from -4.0 to +6.9, with an average of +2.7. (CDCB genetics: pink)

P-LEVEL (Percentile Level): Percentile ranking of a heifer’s Parent Average (PA) for JPI. Compares genetic merit among heifers born in the same year. Values expressed as a single digit representing increments of 10%. Values range from a low P0 through a high P9. P-level is no longer reported after a female freshens and begins to contribute performance information to her genetic evaluation or when daughters begin contributing performance information to a bull’s proof. Not displayed on sample pedigree but would be published above EFI/GFI. (AJCA genetics: purple)

PA (Parent Average): Genetic evaluation for ungenotyped animals with no performance information. Half of PA is derived from PTAs or GPTAs of the dam. The other half is derived from genetic merit of the sire. PAs are no longer reported after a female freshens and begins to contribute performance information to her genetic evaluation or when daughters begin contributing performance information to a bull’s proof. Not displayed on sample pedigree but would be published instead of GPTAs from CDCB and GPTAT and GJPI from AJCA.

PPA (Predicted Producing Ability): A prediction of future production, with measures for milk, fat and protein yield expressed as pounds. Because PPA is determined relative to a constant genetic base, it is the most effective tool to identify cows that will be profitable producers across herds. For cows only. (CDCB genetics: lime green)

PROGENY: Total number of registered offspring. A list of up to eight progeny includes registration number, gender, birth date, tattoo, genotyping status, and current JPI/GJPI. Progeny listed in reverse birth order. For females only. (AJCA: violet)

PTA (Predicted Transmitting Ability) / GPTA (Genomic PTA): A genetic evaluation tool calculated by the CDCB. Predicts the difference of progeny from average for a variety of traits. All first lactation heifers in milk 40 days or more and all second and later lactation cows properly identified by sire should have PTA or GPTA values. (CDCB genetics: pink)

PTAT (PTA Type) / GPTAT (Genomic PTAT): A genetic evaluation for type. (AJCA genetics: purple)

RA (Rump Angle): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, rump angle, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

RECS (Records): Indicates the number of lactations included in a genetic evaluation. (CDCB genetics: pink)

REGISTRATION NAME: Official registration name of animal as identified in AJCA herd book. (permanent identification: blue)

RH (Rear Udder Height): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, rear udder height, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

RL (Rear Legs): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, rear legs, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

RPL (Retained Placenta): One of six genetic evaluations for health traits adopted in 2020. Used to predict likelihood of animal to experience a retained placenta. Higher values are more desirable. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from -0.6 to +0.7, with an average of +0.0. (CDCB genetics: pink)

RTR (Rear Teat Placement-Rear View): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, rear teat placement rear view, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (aqua)

RTS (Rear Teat Placement-Side View): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, rear teat placement side view, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

RUW (Rear Udder Width): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, rear udder width, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

RW (Rump Width): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, rump width, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

SCS (Somatic Cell Score): A genetic predictor of mastitis susceptibility or resistance. A genetic measure of somatic cell count. Among the early health traits, adopted with PL for cow genetic evaluations in 1995. Higher values are more desirable. Marketed bulls listed on BullsEye range from +2.63 to +3.39, with an average of +2.95. (CDCB genetics: pink)

S (Single) / M (Multiple): Refers to the breed make-up of an animal and the basis on which a genomic evaluation is conducted. S is designated for single-breed animals with BBRs of 90 or higher. M is designated for multiple-breed, blended evaluations of animals with BBRs under 90. (CDCB genetics: pink)

SR (Stature): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, stature, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

ST (Strength): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, strength, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

TAG / TATTOO or STUD CODE: Additional identification information includes the tag or tattoo number for dams and the NAAB stud code for bulls, when assigned. The NAAB code is a three-part code that identifies the organization marketing semen (codes 1-3 digits in length), followed by the breed (JE for Jersey), and ending with an identification number assigned by the marketing organization. (permanent identification: blue)

TATTOO: Permanent identification number associated with tattoos. Tag and tattoo numbers are labeled as follows: right ear (published before dash) / left ear (published after dash). The animal’s nine-digit registration number will begin with 011 or 017. Published only for animals identified with this method. (permanent identification: blue)

TL (Teat Length): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, teat length, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

TP (Teat Placement): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, teat placement, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

YD (Yield Deviation): A genetic measure that predicts a cow’s production relative to herdmates as pounds of milk, fat, and protein. YD is the weighted average yield adjusted for management and environmental factors, expressed relative to the breed base. For cows only. (CDCB genetics: lime green)

UC (Udder Cleft): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, udder cleft, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

UD (Udder Depth): Abbreviation for the linear type trait, udder depth, with corresponding value listed below. Published as a genetic measure for all animals and as actual phenotypic values for appraised cows. (AJCA genetics and performance: aqua)

JargonPedigree
JargonPedigree