With each new proof round comes new sires, new rankings and, frankly, new headaches. Wanting to do more than just pump out the same old lists that really do not mean anything to anyone but the semen marketers, or just promote the bulls from the studs who pay us the most money, the Bullvine took a look at the recent December 2013 Genetic Evaluations to find not only the list toppers, but a deeper look to find those unique sires that will address your key breeding challenges.
Overall Performance Improvement
When looking for the sire that will help improve your herd across the board, we looked for sires that have a balance of production and longevity, and most importantly a proven pedigree that ensures that their performance will last. We also wanted great health and fertility traits that will deliver a low maintenance cow (Read more – Fact vs. Fantasy: A realistic approach to sire selection). Here are our top four:
- ROYLANE SOCRA ROBUST
Socrates x O Man x Manat
Proven Sire – Select Sires
+1464 lbs. Milk +0.12 %F +87 lbs. F +0.04 %P +53 lbs P 5.5 PL 2.95 SCS +1.95 PTAT +2248TPI
+1946 kgs Milk +0.41F +116 kgs. F +0.15 %P +79 kgs P +110 HL 3.00 SCS +5 Conf. +3188 LPI
Long a popular high genomic sire, with his high debut in August and sustained numbers as he adds more daughters, Robust has proven to be a great performance improver. He is a high NM$ (+765) Velvet-View-KJ SOCRATES-ET (EX-94-GM) son from Seagull-Bay Oman Mirror (VG-86-DOM). He transmits exceptional components (+.12% Fat, +87 Fat, +.04% Protein, +53 Protein) and outstanding longevity (+5.5 Productive Life). A Calving Ease and relative outcross sire, ROBUST moderates stature and adds height and width to the rear udder. Robust will work best on tall deep cattle that need feet and leg improvement.
- KINGS-RANSOM B RUBLE
Bolton x Boliver x Bombay
Proven Sire - ABS Global
+2534 lbs Milk -0.07 %F +73 lbs. F -0.01 %P +72 lbs P 0.7 PL 2.95 SCS +1.84 PTAT +2067TPI
+2978 kgs. Milk -0.25F +85 kgs. F -0.05 %P +90 kgs P +102 HL 2.99 SCS +7 Conf. +2953 LPI
With so many O Man, Planet, Goldwyn, Shottle, and Freddie sons dominating the lists, it nice to see a sire like RUBLE ranking among them. The cow family behind RUBLE features five consecutive generations of AI bull mothers. RUBLE’s five closest dams all produced milk records in excess of 32,000 lbs. RUBLE’s grand dam, Bombay Rale was a tremendous brood cow leaving 6-VG & 4-EX daughters in the herd by seven different sires. RUBLE daughters are moderate stature and dairy. Protect for strength as they can be narrow through the chest. Udders are everything you would expect from the two popular pedigrees. High, wide rear udders, smooth blending fore udders, and a deep seam to carry their high production through many lactations. Daughters track straight with a correct foot, though you need to protect for a slight set to rear legs and protect rumps for pin width.
- SILVERRIDGE V WICKHAM
Mogul x Snowman x Planet
Genomic Sire – Semex
+1964 lbs Milk +0.04 %F +81 lbs. F +0.01 %P +61 lbs P 4.3 PL 2.68 SCS +3.31 PTAT +2446 TPI
+2516 kgs. Milk +0.07F +100 kgs. F +0.01 %P +82 kgs P +113 HL 2.69 SCS +18 Conf. +3483 LPI
Wickham’s high genomic numbers should not surprise anyone. Coming from the same family that has produced genomic giants, Epic, Emmet and many others. Wickham is an early Mogul son from the Whittier-Farms Lead Mae family. Look for Wickham to sire tall angular daughters with average depth. Expect great mammary systems and feet and legs though he should be protected on straightness of leg and chest width.
- DE-SU 11236 BALISTO
Bookem x Watson x O Man
Genomic Sire – ABS Global
+1725 lbs Milk +0.12 %F +96 lbs. F +0.01 %P +78 lbs P 4.3 PL 2.71 SCS +2.72 PTAT +2424 TPI
+1923 kgs. Milk +0.31F +104 kgs. F +0.30 %P +94 kgs P +111 HL 2.54 SCS +10 Conf. +3409 LPI
For those of you looking for a high genomic outcross sire, Balisto can certainly do the trick. Balisto is the Bookem brother to the #1 gLPI sire in the world De-Su Mg Davinci 11288. Their dam is the outcross Watson daughter of Pine-Tree Missy Miranda (Full sister to De-Su 199 Chart Topper), then of course Wesswood-HC Rudy Missy herself. Look for Balisto to sire outstanding components, with solid type and health traits. Balisto will need to be protected on rumps as he will tend to have a high rump angle and will be a touch weaker in the loins.
It might be easy to just take the top milk lists or combine the fat plus protein and say those sires are the best for overall production. We here at the Bullvine would not want to totally forgo type as well as health and fertility, so we are looking for the sires that give you the maximum production gain, without sacrificing everything to get it. In addition to Robust, Ruble and Balisto mentioned above, some other production improvement sires to consider include:
- FLEVO GENETICS SNOWMAN
O Man x BW Marshall x Aaron
+2075 lbs Milk -0.03 %F +67 lbs. F -0.01 %P +61 lbs P 1.9 PL 2.79 SCS +2.43 PTAT +2109 TPI
+3059 kgs. Milk -0.15 F +98 kgs. F -0.03 %P +94 kgs P +104 HL 2.67 SCS +11 Conf. +3112 LPI
When it comes to production improvement it is hard to argue with Snowman. While many people are mixed on Snowman daughters, there is no question that they know how to milk. Snowman is your classic milk bull. He has extreme component yields with average type. However, as history teaches us, extreme sires are exactly the ones that we need to use most in order to accelerate genetic advancement. While not high type, Snowman daughters are surprising many by being solid VG milk cows. He certainly needs to be protected for fat percentage and straight rear legs and most definitely DPR. But if you have the high fat percent heifer or cow that needs an instant production hit, Snowman is the man. Since semen is in limited supply maybe consider a couple of his sons, full brothers SEAGULL-BAY PLATINUM or DIAMOND or maybe S-S-I SNOWMAN MAYFLOWER.
- MARS ALTAFIXMAN
Fibrax x O Man x Sinatra
Proven Sire – Alta Genetics
+911 lbs Milk +0.19 %F +84 lbs. F +0.12 %P +60 lbs P 0.3 PL 3.13 SCS +0.91 PTAT +1986 TPI
+1246 kgs. Milk +0.52F +100 kgs. F +0.36 %P +78 kgs P +104 HL 3.22 SCS +3 Conf. +2918 LPI
With the exception of O Man, most breeders would probably never have heard of many of the sires in AltaFixman’s pedigree. That’s mostly a result of the international genetics marketplace these days, as his sire, Fibrax is from Italy and his dam, FROUKJE 375 is from the Mars herd in The Netherlands. But don’t let this relatively unknown pedigree scare you. It is actually based on generation after generation of strong type and production. Although his overall Milk numbers may seem average, his components are out of this world. At +.19%F +84 lbs of Fat and +.12%P +60lbs of Protein, AltaFixman is certainly a strong component punch whenever you need it. Type wise look for AltaFixman to sire good all around solid cows that could be protected on median suspensory ligament and body depth. As an added bonus, since AltaFixman is such a non North American pedigree, he is certainly an outcross to most North American cattle.
- SEAGULL-BAY SUPERSIRE
Robust x Planet x Shottle
Genomic Sire – Select Sires
+2342 lbs Milk +0.08 %F +107 lbs. F +0.02 %P +75 lbs P 5.4 PL 2.80 SCS +2.38 PTAT +2413 TPI
+2586 kgs. Milk +0.25F +122 kgs. F +0.06 %P +91 kgs P +111 HL 2.85 SCS +9 Conf. +3395 LPI
Of course it’s hard to mention any production improvement without including Supersire. This Robust son from AMMON-PEACHEY SHAUNA VG-87-2YR-USA, really is a genomic wonder. Not only does he have the highest genomic values in the breed for production but he also has great functional type and health traits to go with it. Here you have a sire that is 2342 lbs. for milk, with positive component deviations, 2.38 for type, and over +5 for productive life. Supersire daughters and sons are already topping many of the lists. While Supersire daughters will not be winning many shows, his no holes type linear has resulted in his widespread use and so far he has delivered on all expectations.
- BUSH-BROS ALTABGOOD
Robust x Massey x Boliver
Genomic Sire – Alta Genetics
+1603 lbs Milk +0.13 %F +93 lbs. F +0.09 %P +71 lbs P 4.5 PL 2.85 SCS +2.41 PTAT +2373 TPI
+858 kgs. Milk +0.41F +113 kgs. F +0.28 %P +89 kgs P +110 HL 2.89 SCS +7 Conf. +3256 LPI
Another Robust son that should certainly get your attention is AltaBgood. While not an international pedigree like AltaFixman, AltaBgood’s pedigree will not spark instant recognition for most breeders. What you do get is generation after generation of genomic performance that is higher than their parent averages. While those wanting pedigree power to go with the genomic test may not want to use AltaBgood, those that have confidence in the genomic system should certainly take a look. Like AltaFixman, AltaBgood will also sire extreme component improvement (+.13%F +93lbs F +.09%P +71 lbs P). He combines these outstanding components with a strong type linear and average health traits. AltaBgood will need to be protected for high pins and dairy strength.
While some would try to tell you that high type equals longevity, that is not necessarily the case. When it comes to longevity, it’s hard to argue with actual performance indices like Herd Life and Productive Life. In order to give a more balanced approach to longevity, we looked at both and came up with the following top sires:
- COYNE-FARMS DORCY
Bolton x Bret x Rudolph
Proven Sire – ABS Global
+1603 lbs Milk -0.04 %F +46 lbs. F -0.01 %P +46 lbs P 4.9 PL 2.70 SCS +3.00 PTAT +2267 TPI
+1721 kgs. Milk -0.16F +48 kgs. F -0.02 %P +53 kgs P +114 HL 2.67 SCS +13 Conf. +2971 LPI
Another popular genomic sire that has become a mainstay on the proven sire lists is Dorcy. DORCY offers breeders a little different pedigree with no O Man, Planet, Goldwyn or Shottle in it. The impressive combination of type and production from his cow family and daughters are readily evident in DORCY’s proof with +1603M +46F +46P +623NM 2.70SCS +4.90PL and +3.00T +3.22UDC +3.07FLC. He has good ratings for all functional traits except for calving ease. Breeders interested in a Bolton son from an outcross pedigree, top notch udders, very good feet & legs and functional traits may consider Dorcy. Dairy Strength and Rump are only slightly above breed norms. Look for Dorcy to sire balanced dairy cattle that have great udders and very good feet & legs, though he will need to be protected for fat percent and dairy strength, specifically his body depth and chest width.
- KINGS-RANSOM ERDMAN CRI
Planet x Ramos x Bullet
Proven Sire – Cooperative Resources International (CRI)
+1156 lbs Milk +0.11 %F +71 lbs. F +0.02 %P +39 lbs P 7.7 PL 2.76 SCS +0.93 PTAT +2157 TPI
+1386 kgs. Milk +0.36 F +90 kgs. F +0.06 %P +50 kgs P +112 HL 2.70 SCS +2 Conf. +2853 LPI
While Erdman is a Planet son, the rest of his pedigree Ramos x Bullet x Brandon actually makes Erdman a relative outcross sire. His pedigree also demonstrates one high productive life sire after another. A product of the Genesis program by CRI, he has been built to sire highly profitable (+803NM$) cattle. While many type breeders will not love his +0.93 PTAT, his 7.7 for productive life (112 herd life), his 2.76 SCS and 110 daughter fertility (+1.9 DPR) will certainly catch the eye of many producers. Expect Erdman daughters to have strong mammary systems and sound legs. He will need protected on foot angle, pin width and dairy strength.
- JEANLU FIX
Mogul x Observer x Shottle
Genomic Sire – Semex
+908 lbs Milk +0.09 %F +56 lbs. F +0.03 %P +36 lbs P 7.4 PL 2.49 SCS +3.01 PTAT +2417 TPI
+1375 kgs. Milk +0.21F +73 kgs. F +0.08 %P +53 kgs P +119 HL 2.43 SCS +14 Conf. +3243 LPI
Fix’s dam SPEEK-NJ OBSERV FANDANGO VG-86-2yr has the rare combination of being high index and from 8 generations of EX behind her (Read more: FERME J.P. POULIN: YOU’RE ALWAYS WELCOME! TOUJOURS BIENVENU!) a testament to the longevity of his maternal lines Combine that with the high productive life sire Mogul and you certainly have an unbeatable longevity package. Look for him to sire great udders with strong feet and legs though he may need to be protected on stature for some breeders preferences.
- LONE-OAK-ACRES ALTAROBLE
Mogul x Observer x Shottle
Genomic Sire – Alta Genetics
+1282 lbs Milk +0.03 %F +45 lbs. F +0.02 %P +50 lbs P 6.7 PL 2.64 SCS +3.12 PTAT +2426 TPI
+1666 kgs. Milk +0.05 F +66 kgs. F +0.09 %P +63 kgs P +118 HL 2.63 SCS +14 Conf. +3273 LPI
This seems to be the magic sire stack for longevity improvement. With a linear that is off the charts and strong production numbers and health and fertility traits, AltaRoble certainly deserves your attention. A +6.7 productive life, +2.4 Daughter Pregnancy Rate and +2.64 SCS certainly shows that AltaRoble not only has the type numbers, he actually has the longevity numbers to back it up. Breeders may want to protect him on body depth and teat length.
Health and Fertility Improvement
With the constant improvement in the accuracy of health and fertility index calculations, more and more breeders are confidently including Health and Fertility traits in their breeding requirements.
- DE-SU OBSERVER
Planet x O Man x BW Marshall
Proven Sire – Select Sires
+1416 lbs Milk +0.00 %F +43 lbs. F -0.01 %P +49 lbs P 5.9 PL 2.84 SCS +2.64 PTAT +2186 TPI
+1973 kgs. Milk -0.05 F +68 kgs. F +0.02 %P +66 kgs P +111 HL 2.83 SCS +12 Conf. +3072 LPI
Carrying the flag and riding the wave of the health and fertility trend is De-Su Observer. This sire has been the poster child for high health and fertility since his early genomic numbers came back and catapulted him into international use. With his daughter performance validating his early numbers, Observer has to be one of the quickest sires in history to get to 99% Reliability. His daughters stamp out a pretty consistent pattern with strong production and solid type. Type wise he has actually performed pretty well, with daughters exhibiting outstanding udders (watch out for short teats) and solid feet and legs. One area you will also want to protect him on is his dairy strength, as his daughters are certainly not deep and could stand to have more chest width.
- ZANI BOLTON MASCALESE
Bolton x O Man x Adam
Proven Sire – Semenzoo
+1562 lbs Milk +0.02 %F +53 lbs. F +0.01 %P +59 lbs P -0.3 PL 2.75 SCS +2.79 PTAT +2072 TPI
+2084 kgs. Milk -0.05 F +73 kgs. F +0.07 %P +75 kgs P +104 HL 2.76 SCS +14 Conf. +3091 LPI
With such a push on health traits over the past few years, it’s actually almost impossible to find an outcross sire on the top lists. If you are one of the few that didn’t go heavy on Mascalese as a genomic sire, you certainly can take advantage of that now by using him or one of his many sons. Possessing greater conformation than his sire stack would indicate, MASACLESE sires strong dairy cattle that are durable and possess good health traits. For those looking for a more outcross sire that is high for health and fertility, try Erdman mentioned above.
- MR LOOKOUT P ENFORCER
Facebook x Shottle x O Man
Genomic Sire – Semex
+1628 lbs Milk +0.05 %F +62 lbs. F +0.03 %P +68 lbs P +4.7 PL 2.76 SCS +2.42 PTAT +2348 TPI
+1955 kgs. Milk +0.05 F +78 kgs. F +0.13 %P +78 kgs P +114 HL 2.82 SCS +13 Conf. +3352 LPI
This Marbri Facebook son has some of the highest DGVs in the breed. Look for him to sire extreme component yields from strong dairy cattle with great feet and legs. One area to be cautious about, when using him, is his body depth. Both his sire stack and his DGVs would say this area needs protecting.
- CO-OP UPD HUNTER SALVINO
Hunter x Massey x Ally
Genomic Sire – Cooperative Resources International (CRI)
+1265 lbs Milk +0.21 %F +101 lbs. F +0.08 %P +61 lbs P +3.9 PL 2.81 SCS +2.46 PTAT +2401 TPI
+1474 kgs. Milk +0.51 F +107 kgs. F +0.22 %P +72 kgs P +112 HL 2.78 SCS +12 Conf. +3353 LPI
If you’re looking for something a little different and an outcross pedigree, try Salvino. Another product of the Genesis program at CRI, Salvino is a 2nd generation product of this program. His dam’s sire, Massey, was one of the early success stories of this program. Look for Salvino to sire strong component improvement with a solid type linear. In a market place flooded with many of the same bloodlines, finding a sire that is a little different and yet still able to deliver top progeny can be a challenge. Salvino may be your best option for a relative outcross sire that still can compete with the other top genomic sires.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
We have stated it many times. In maximizing your genetic gain, you can’t just pick from the top of the TPI or LPI list. You need to make sure that your matings are the best corrective cross. Breeding great cattle is part art and part science. You need to have both parts. It takes careful consideration and generation after generation of corrective mating to breed great cow families. That is why, instead of just giving you a list of the top 12, we have tried to provide you with insight into which sires will provide you with the maximum gain in each specific area.