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Stackyard News Feb 08

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Dairy Shorthorns Increase their Share

There has been a significant increase in the number of Dairy Shorthorns recorded with National Milk Records against a trend of reduced overall recordings.


Dairy Shorthorn Cows

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 at 4,515.

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 index 419.

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 of fertility.

“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 breed.

“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 breeding cattle.”

link Supply Chains for Holstein Bull Calves Reliant on Price Move
link Ards Razorlight Years Ahead
link Jerseys Record Highest Production Increase in NMR

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Dairy Shorthorn