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Stackyard News May 2012

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Addressing Dairy Cow Fertility Through Better Breeding

Achieving better dairy cow fertility is a priority for almost every milk producer, yet the opportunity to do so through better breeding is often overlooked.

Bryan Challenor

Bryan Challenor

This message from World Wide Sires UK comes as the company profiles two of the best daughter fertility improvers on the dairy bull market which have the scope to reduce calving interval in one generation, and build on this improvement over the generations ahead.

The bulls are Wyn-K Garrison Kade and Macomber O-Man Bogart and their remarkably high Fertility Indexes of +7.8 and +5.6 respectively have the potential to significantly improve daughter fertility on any UK dairy farm.

“For every one point increase in a bull’s Fertility Index his daughters are expected to see almost half a day improvement in their calving interval as well as half a percent improvement in non-return rate at 56 days,” says Bryan Challenor from WWS. “This means that a bull like Kade with a Fertility Index of +7.8 will reduce his daughters’ calving interval by, on average, almost four days.

“This may not sound much in isolation, but using a cross-section of bulls like this over several generations will make a huge impact,” he says. “And although nutrition and management clearly have an important part to play in achieving good fertility, why not make the job easier by breeding the right cows?”

But these two bulls are far more than just fertility improvers as they both offer exceptionally well-rounded proofs for production, type and a whole range of fitness traits, giving them both high PLIs (Profitable Lifetime Indexes).

Bogart has the highest PLI at £186, reflecting his daughters’ outstanding production of both milk and milk solids, while their cell counts will be low (SCC Index -17) and lifespans long (LS Index +0.3).

“With a Type Merit of +1.52 he will also transmit the type more modern farmers are demanding without any extremes in his linear and with great body strength and good functional traits,” adds Mr Challenor.

Kade also transmits good production with his daughters’ excellent fertility, and similarly offers low cell counts and long lifespans as part of the package.

“His type profile is truly outstanding [TM +2.29], again with good front end strength, excellent well-supported mammaries and outstanding feet and legs which score and impressive +2.18,” he adds.

Urging breeders to stack the odds in their favour by breeding inherently more fertile cows, he concludes: “These are two of the most complete bulls on the market today and their potential to improve daughter fertility is possibly their greatest asset.

“We all know that infertility is one of the biggest problems on UK dairy farms and a great source of financial loss, so it makes perfect sense to tackle the problem through breeding.”

For more information contact your local WWS breeding consultant or call Freephone: 0800 1613371.

link Woodmarsh Olympian Bred and Tested in the UK
link Building Confidence in Young Genomic Sires
link Holstein Bull Toystory First to Two Million Units

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