Herd Genetics – Have you A Plan?

Having the right cow for your system is fairly obvious, but ensuring that you have clear breeding objectives that fit with your long terms aims for your business is often overlooked with bulls being selected without due consideration, or by simply selecting according to an index which does not fully reflect the priorities for the herd.  The table below shows the variation in just three of the commonly quoted indexes.  These may not fit with your priorities.

The AHDB Dairy home page is a good starting point to review the options of bull selection, for many, a second step is to understand your herd’s genetic make up and you can obtain this by emailing breeding.evaluations@ahdb.org.uk

The impact of genomic selection of bulls on daughter fertility highlighted below and the turn round seen in the last 10 years is impressive and it remains critical for all herds.  By simply focusing on a single aspect may be at the expense of other key attributes such as milk composition, lifespan or udder health.  The cost of genomic testing is falling and is now within the reach of many commercial herds and this will enable big increases in the rate of genetic progress in coming years.

Contact William at w.waterfield@fcgagric.com or your local FCG office, for advice on your livestock breeding options.

Posted in Andover, Beef, Business Management, Dairy & Forage, Discussion Groups.