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Non-Holstein Bull Proofs Available

07 April 2010

UK - For breeders seeking to use non-Holstein bloodlines, DairyCo publishes a range of other breed proofs, which continue to show the levels of stability that have come to be expected.

Leading British Friesians remain unchanged with Sem 7 ranked number one with a PLI of £133. Irish proven Grietman is second (PLI £113) and UK-bred Lakemead Rancher ranks third (PLI £107). The Ayrshires also retain their front-runner with Brieryside Golden Sand (PLI £169) who is now followed closely by G Ebdo (PLI £157) ahead of Orraryd (PLI £133), ranked third.

Moving into first place on the Guernsey Merit Index (GMI) rankings is Sniders Option Aaron (GMI 359) while second position is shared between Boskenna Junes Royal Oak and Coulee Crest Luxury Spider (GMI 345). However, poor daughter Fertility Indexes for some leading Guernsey sires, (which are not yet included in GMI), will prompt some breeders to look lower in the GMI rankings for their choice of bulls.

DJ Hulk retains the number one position for the Jerseys, with a PLI of £185. A newcomer in second position comes in the shape of Sunset Canyon Anthems Allstar who offers a good all-round proof and a PLI of £179. Super-high daughter fertility transmitter (Fertility Index 8.6), Hollylane Lilibets Legacy moves up from fifth to third place thanks to an improvement in his Lifespan Index (now +0.3). His PLI is £171.

“There’s considerable interest in the breeds other than Holstein which are being used in crossing programmes as well as for pure breeding, so breeders should be reminded that they cannot compare one breed’s indexes with another,” says Marco Winters, head of genetics for DairyCo. “If they are considering a variety of breed options, they will need to apply a conversion formula to make such comparisons.

“The other trap they’ll need to be aware of is the fact that some bulls are not the breed they seem at first glance. This may not be important for many breeders, but if, for example, a breeder wanted to avoid Holstein bloodlines, they would need to check the percentage Holstein in an animal that was marketed as Ayrshire, or even Shorthorn, because they could find themselves using more Holstein than they think if they don’t make such checks.

“Any reputable AI company should provide this information, or the breed society with which the bull is registered will be able to tell you its percentage Holstein, Ayrshire or Shorthorn,” says Mr Winters. “But whatever breed is chosen – and that now includes Shorthorn, Brown Swiss and Montbeliarde for which we publish indexes - the key principles remain the same, which is to study each bull’s proof with care and take account of its overall economic index (usually PLI) as a preliminary screening process.

“After that, each herd will have different requirements and may wish to also consider traits such as combined fat and protein or one of the fitness traits such as fertility, cell counts, lifespan or locomotion.

“And as with the Holstein, it’s important to remember to look for positive figures for all of the fitness traits with the exception of cell counts, where negative figures are desirable.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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