There has been a significant increase in the number of Dairy Shorthorns
recorded with National Milk Records against a trend of reduced
The NMR Annual Production Report for the year ending September
2007 also highlights the Dairy Shorthorn’s comparable superior
fertility and low cell counts.
Total lactations recorded during the year at 4,029 are at their
highest since the year ending September 2002 when they were at
3,753 and they are climbing back to the level of a decade ago
This represents an increasing share of the NMR lactations which
have fallen from 946,343 10 years ago to 569,775 for the last
year. The Holstein’s dominance of the recorded lactations
has dropped on the year from 92.2 per cent to 91.7 per cent.
Among all breeds with more than 2,000 recorded lactations, the
Dairy Shorthorn had the second lowest average cell count of 173,000/ml
behind the Brown Swiss with 164,000/ml.
The Dairy Shorthorn also had the second lowest calving index
of 401 days, closely following the Island Jersey at 399.
Across all breeds, cell counts and calving index continued to
rise with the average cell count at 200,000/ml and the calving
The Shorthorn Society secretary Frank Milnes said: “The
latest NMR figures confirm the Dairy Shorthorn’s ability
to produce excellent quality milk and yet maintain high levels
“The breed also has excellent mobility and longevity and,
as the cattle are good converters of forage to milk, they are
suitable for all types of production systems, particularly extended
grazing and organic systems.
“The increasing number of Shorthorn NMR recorded lactations
against a shrinking national dairy herd is testament that milk
producers are re-awakening to the attributes of this traditional
“The Society has also seen an increase in the number of
bulls being sold for use in black and white herds and it is now
offering a registration service for these cross bred cattle in
a special appendix register.
“Subsequent progeny of these cattle will eventually be
accepted into the Shorthorn herdbook and the animals will not
lose their registered status or ancestry details during the changeover.
There is renewed optimism within the dairy sector at the moment
and it makes sense for breeders to protect the value of their
Supply Chains for Holstein Bull Calves Reliant on Price Move
Ards Razorlight Years Ahead
Jerseys Record Highest Production Increase in NMR