AbstractTo demonstrate that the Holstein cow population of Puerto Rico presents differences in hair coat characteristics, hair samples were obtained from the rump, ribs and shoulder of cows visually characterized either as short (SH) or normal haired (NH). Hair length and width were measured and correlated with the genetic potential of cows for these traits: duration of productive life, dairy conformation, pregnancy rate, milk production, milk fat, and somatic cell count (SCC). The cows henotypically identified as SH had shorter but wider hairs than NH cows. Length of hair from the rump and ribs was inversely correlated with productive life duration and directly correlated with SCC. In addition, width of the rump and rib hair was directly correlated with milk production but inversely correlated with productive life. This variability in hair coat length and width of Holstein cattle in Puerto Rico may affect productive traits. Identification of Holstein cattle with SH phenotype should continue, thus to facilitate further genetic evaluation of this trait with the goal of improving efficiency of the local dairy industry.
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