The latest Holstein bull rankings released today (Tuesday 15 January)
by MDC breeding+ has shown stability
in the top two placed sires. German Mtoto son Mascol stays in top
place followed by O-Bee Manfred Justice who keeps his second place.
Ranked using the revised Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI), which
was introduced in August 2007 and places more emphasis on fitness
and longevity traits, both these top bulls have been shown to
breed daughters with increased ‘staying power’.
Mascol, who now has a PLI of £239, is predicted to reduce
the somatic cell count of his daughters by 26%. Three other sires
in the top 10 Holstein list have also been shown to match this
very significant level of genetic improvement in milk quality – a
major factor in cow health and welfare.
They are Braedale Goldwyn, in fourth place with a PLI of £216,
who is also predicted to improve SCC by 26%, sixth placed UK
bred Picston Shottle with a PLI of £207 and predicted SCC
improvement of 29% – the highest in the top 10 – and
10th placed Ramos with a PLI of £204 and a predicted improvement
in SCC of 26%.
Still highlighting fitness traits, second placed O-Bee Manfred
Justice, with a PLI of £230, shows further improvement
in his lifespan score, increasing it by 0.2 in the past five
months to 0.6. This indicates that he has the ability to breed
daughters that remain in the milking herd for six months more
than the UK average.
Braedale Goldwyn also improves his lifespan score by 0.1 to
0.3. However, the best lifespan score in the top 10 is Ramos
with a score of 0.9.
Climbing to third place and adding £14 to his PLI is fat
specialist Wizzard. With a PLI of £219, he has a Predicted
Transmitting Ability (PTA) for fat of +0.31%, showing the ability to
improve the compositional quality of his daughters’ milk.
The first British tested sire can be found in fifth place. Bilsrow
Jock has improved his PLI by £16 to £214, mainly
thanks to an improvement in his daughter Fertility Index of +1.6
He is followed closely by the next British proven sire Picston
Shottle who now has almost 800 daughters in his production proof
giving a reliability score of 99%. He has the highest Type Merit
score in the top 10 available Holstein sires, published by Holstein
UK, at 3.9.
Sharing seventh place with a PLI of £206 are Urnieta Zelati
II, Jardin and Jango. Both Jardin and his paternal half brother
Jango are predicted to improve fertility in their daughters – only
beaten as a fertility improver by 10th placed Ramos who has a
fertility index of 2.7.
Jango is a new entry to the top 10 Holstein sires ranked on
PLI having added £20 to his score. Jock, Jardin and Jango
are all Jocko Besne sons.
“Figures for the top Holstein sires re-inforce the value
of the new PLI,” says MDC breeding+ director
Marco Winters. “All 10 sires – and others going down
the list – have very valuable fitness traits that will
help improve the genetic merit of the UK dairy herd.
“Rounding off the top 10 bulls is an all round fitness
specialist Ramos who improves his daughters’ lifespan by
nearly a full lactation at +0.9, reduces SCC by 26% and is the
best daughter fertility bull ranking in the top 10 at +2.7.”
Other notable newcomers to the top 50 PLI ranking are Gibor
and Huddlestone Spooky. Gibor, despite being more than 10 years
old, makes his debut on the listings. His late release as a service
sire is warranted by his strong ‘fitness’ traits
for SCC, lifespan and daughter fertility. “The industry
has recognised the importance of these traits and is making more
use of sires with these strengths in a bid to tackle the issues,” adds
Spooky is a UK tested British family member of the number one
PLI bull. Bred at Tim Gue’s Huddlestone farm, Spooky’s
dam is full sister to Mascol. Many of the strong traits seen
in this family are reflected in the early information of Spooky’s
The published information includes top PLI lists for bulls with
UK progeny tests and international proofs as well as top cow
and herd lists. All breeding+ information
has also been sent to breed societies and milk recording organisations.
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