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2014 editors choice graphicOver the years it has been almost impossible to predict which hot new sire would be the next great sire of sons.  Just because a sire had a high index did not always mean that he was going to be a great sire of sons.  For instance, sires like Goldwyn produced great bull mothers but did not seem to make as much of an impact through their sons.  There have also been sires like O-Man that were great sires of sons, but did not seem to leave consistent bull mothers.  Fortunately, genomics at the chromosomal level has started to give us insight into which sires will make better sires of sons and which ones will be more impactful through their daughters.

Look to the past to predict the future

There is no question that Goldwyn has been one of the biggest impact sires over the past 20 years.  But for all the great daughters he has left, he has not had the same dominant performance through his sons.  Recent analysis by the Bullvine actually starts to explain why. Using the Chromosomal Predicted Transmitting Abilities tool on the Council for Dairy Cattle Breeding’s website we took a look at the top 10 Goldwyn daughters with EBV and genomic tests and his top 10 sons.  The following is what we found.

Table 1 – BRAEDALE GOLDWYN’s genetic contribution to his top progeny

$NM Sire Dam %Sire %Dam












It is interesting to note that Goldwyn was much more dominant (11%) in passing his genetics on to his daughters than he was to his sons.  When you look deeper at this, you will actually find that Goldwyn himself actually received 64% of his genetics from his mother, BRAEDALE BALER TWINE VG-86-2YR-CAN 33*.


Click on image to enlarge

In order to put this into a relative comparison, we decided to look at a sire that has been the opposite scenario, O-BEE MANFRED JUSTICE.  O-Man has been one of the greatest sires of sons of the past 20 years, but not as dominant on the female side.  When we look at Justice’s top 10 daughters and sons we find the following.

Table 2 – O-BEE MANFRED JUSTICE’s genetic contribution to his top progeny

$NM Sire Dam %Sire %Dam












It is interesting to see that when looking at Justice’s progeny results he played a far more significant role on average, 68% of the genetic contribution to his progeny, than Goldwyn’s 59%.  This is especially true where Justice contributed 12% more to his top sons than Goldwyn did. This is not surprising when you notice that O-Man himself received a much larger contribution (48%) of his genetics from his father, as compared to Goldwyn’s 36%.


Click on image to enlarge

Who’s Next?

Based on these trends, when looking at some of the top genomic sires from the past 4 years, we find that sires like Mogul, and Epic will be more impactful as sires of sons than say sires like Supersire and Numero Uno.  This is based on the proportions of their current chromosomes coming from their sires and their dams.

As far as current top genomic sires go, DE-SU 11756 OCTAVIAN-ET, SEAGULL-BAY SILVER-ET and MR DELICIOUS COIN 15006 will be more impactful through their sons.  Sires like MORNINGVIEW MCC KINGBOY and EDG JACEY MCCUT 8396-ET will probably leave more bull mothers, rather than sires of sons.  Again, this is based on the proportions of their current chromosomes coming from their sires and their dams.

The Bullvine Bottom Line.

For years, we have wondered why some sires seemed unable to pass on their great genetics to their sons.  Now at the chromosome level we know why.  Some sires are just more dominant about passing their genetics onto their progeny than others.  (Read more:  The Genetic Genius of Darwin, Mendel and Hunt – Genetic Transmission and the Holstein)  A sire’s ability to pass his genetics onto his progeny especially his sons, has a huge impact on whether or not he will be an impactful sire of sons.  For bulls like Goldwyn, this inability means he has fewer legacy sons, while Justice’s ability to dominantly pass on his genetics has contributed to his sons reading like a who’s who list.

The Dairy Breeders No BS Guide to Genomics


Not sure what all this hype about genomics is all about?

Want to learn what it is and what it means to your breeding program?

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There is no question that when it comes to understanding what cows will transmit and what cows will not, it is an enigma wrapped in a conundrum.  There is much that we don’t know and some would argue it is not meant to be known.  The problem is, for those of us with a passion for breeding great dairy cattle, we want to know it all.  For that I turn to the three greatest genetic geniuses in the history of the world, Darwin, Mendel and Hunt (No they are not a law firm).

Charles Robert Darwin He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.

Charles Darwin

Ask anyone in the world to name a geneticist and the first name that comes to mind has to be Charles Darwin.  No better demonstration of Darwin’s theory of evolution exists in the world than in dairy cattle breeding.  While there is no question that artificial selection and selective breeding exist on a daily basis, a cow’s ability to reproduce and produce milk leads to a natural level of selection that epitomizes Darwin’s theory.  “The laws governing inheritance,” Darwin wrote, “are for the most part unknown.”  Moreover, while many modern geneticists have theories about the tendencies of the modern Holstein cow, their genetic transmission pathways in large part remain a mystery to this day.

Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel

Then along came Gregor Mendel who introduced the concept of “genes” to explain heritability.  Mendel changed the whole way we look at breeding when he introduced the theory that the chromosome is the carrier of genetic traits.  He also explained why a trait can disappear in one generation and reappear in the next and why these traits occur in a three-to-one ratio.  One of Mendel’s disciples, three quarters of a century later, was Thomas B. Macaulay.  Macaulay conducted his own studies, on his Mount Victoria Farms (Read more: Mount Victoria Farms – The art and science of great breeding).

Thomas Hunt Morgan

Thomas Hunt Morgan

Then along came Hunt. Well, more specifically, Thomas Hunt Morgan, but my ego wouldn’t let this go as my name is Andrew Morgan Hunt (Read more about my ego: I’m Sorry But I’ve Had Just About Enough Of… ).  In research that is now reproduced by grade 9 science students around the world, Morgan introduced the concept of X and Y-chromosomes.  Morgan concluded that a female has two X chromosomes and that males have both X and Y-chromosomes.  He also posited that the male of the species, because of the presence of the Y chromosome, transmits differently than the female.

To get a better understanding of this, let’s look at this from both sides of the story.

His side of the story (XY)

If you look at Holstein bulls throughout history you find four distinct patterns:

  1. Great daughters but no legacy sons
    These are the bulls that sired amazing brood cows but none of their sons were able to continue their genetic legacy.  Examples are Hanover-Hill Triple Threat, Carlin-M Ivanhoe Bell, and Braedale Goldwyn.  They all were able to sire brood cow daughters beyond compare, but no real sons to advance that genetic legacy.  Why did these sires seem to produce better on the female side than that of the male?  For that we need to turn to Morgan and his X and Y chromosome theory.  Since the Y chromosome is the only one that is inherited solely via the paternal  line, this leads  some geneticists to believe that it carries little genetic information, and as a result  a great sires genetic legacy rest more with his daughters than with his sons.  Therefore, with this first group of sires it is thought that much of their genetics were transmitted on the X chromosome rather than the Y.
  2. Great sons but not as many brood cows
    Bulls that sired outstanding sons but never produced a top daughter.  A couple of great examples of this are Montvic Rag Apple Sovereign, Maizefield Bellwood and O-Bee Manfred Justice.  All of these sires have left outstanding sons, but are not found as often in the maternal sire stack of the great sires.  There is no question as to their genetic contribution to the breed, but it was more as a sire of sons than their ability to leave an equal number of brood cows.
  3. Sons and daughters both extraordinary
    These are the sires that have gone down in history as the all-time greats.  Sires like Johanna Rag Apple Pabst, Governor of Carnation, Montvic Chieftain, Wisconsin Admiral Burke Lad, A.B.C. Reflection Sovereign, Round Oak Rag Apple Elevation, Pawnee Farm Alrinda Chief, Walkway Chief Mark, Hanoverhill Starbuck, Madawaska Aerostar and Maughlin Storm.  These are the bulls that not only displayed personal greatness but were also able to transmit both outstanding brood cows as well as legacy sons.
  4. Sons and daughters that were inferior
    Sons and daughters that are both below average.  These bulls left inferior daughters and as a result were never even given the chance to produce sons.  Bulls in this category are too numerous to mention and loads of their daughters go to the slaughterhouses every day.  No explanation necessary other than a lack of genetic merit and here enters the need for genomics (Read more: The Truth About Genomic Indexes – “Show Me” That They Work).

Her side the story (XX)

The female side of the story uses the same four distinct groups.

  1. Great daughters but no legacy sons
    These are cows with outstanding female descendants but undistinguished males.  Great examples of these are the cow families of Hanover Hill Papoose, Krull Broker Elegance and Plunshanski Chief Faith.  They all were able to leave outstanding female descendants generation after generation, but were never really able to accomplish the same feat on the male side of the story.
  2. Great sons but not as many brood cows
    These are the cows with potent transmitting sons, but daughters who didn’t outperform the average.  Examples of these are Wylamyna Tidy Kathleen (dam of Sir Bess Tidy and Sir Bess Ormsby Tidy Fobes) Lakefield Fobes Delight (dam of Lakefield Fond Hope, Lakefield Fond Delight Fobes and Carnation Royal Master) and Pawnee Farm Glenvue Beauty (dam of Pawnee Farm Arlinda Chief).  All of these cows had outstanding maternal lines but for some reason were just not able to transmit that legacy through their daughters.
  3. Sons and daughters both extraordinary
    Among the females in this category are Glenridge Citation Roxy, Mil-R-Mor Roxette, Comestar Laurie Sheik, Braedale Gypsy Grand and Snow-N Denises Dellia.
  4. Sons and daughters that were inferior
    Cows who, in terms of influence, failed to produce anything worthwhile.  Blame it on lack of genetics, bad breeding, improper management, or just bad luck, these cows just didn’t influence the breed. We have all seen examples.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

There has never been a clear explanation of why some bloodlines seem to transmit better through maternal lines, others through the paternal, and still others do well in both.  Even genomics does not answer this.  There are high genomic animals that still have these same tendencies.  Maybe if we could genomic test the genes on each chromosome we might find the answers?  Until then Genetic Transmission in the Holstein Cow will remain a mystery.

To read more about this get a copy of The Holstein History by Edward Morwick and read the chapter on Inheritance Patterns.

The Dairy Breeders No BS Guide to Genomics


Not sure what all this hype about genomics is all about?

Want to learn what it is and what it means to your breeding program?

Download this free guide.





2013ecttop13of2013Commercial milk producers want to breed cows that have high feed conversion efficiency, that avoid culling and that take the least care or staff time (Read more – Feed Efficiency: The Money Saver).  The well known and widely used total merit indexes, TPI*TM  and LPI, rank sires according to which ones leave the most profitable ideal or true type cow. However the factors in those indexes and the assumptions that are made when calculating them do not address feed, culling or low maintenance.   Milk producers are left to fend for themselves when it comes to selecting sires that will leave their kind of cows.

What’s Being Heard

Milk Producers say: “All I want is a trouble free cow that efficiently converts forages to the kind of milk my milk buyer wants.

Veterinarians say:  “Cows must get in calf, have minimal feet problems and must not be prone to having production limiting diseases (reproduction problems, mastitis, metabolic disorders or  ..etc.).

Farm Workers say:  “Sick animals, calving problems and animals that do not work easily within the farm system waste my time.

Feed Advisers say: “Test your forages, feed the rumen, get the most out of your forages and the use of nutrients for both production and maintenance must be considered simultaneously (i.e. medium sized cows yielding the same as large cows are more feed efficient).

Milk Processors say: ”Except for the milk we sell as a drink, we want the solids not the water.

Financial Advisers say:  “Make decisions based on profit per cow, per litre, per hectare, per pound of feed consumed, per worker, …etc.

Consumers say: – Well in fact we may not be listening to consumers (Read more – Milk Marketing: How “Got Milk?” became “Got Lost”)

There are even more voices speaking in producers ears and more words appearing on the computer screens that producers read.  With all the information that is currently available, selecting sires that best meet the needs of milk producers can be a daunting task.

Getting Started

Milk producers do not wish to deal all the numbers that appear on proof sheets. That can be a very time consuming exercise with no definitive answers at the end of it.

The Bullvine decided to research what is available today on selecting sires for feed conversion efficiency, for freedom from major known reasons for culling and for minimal extra care. We recognize that down the road there will be genomic indexes that are based on the relationship between yet to be recorded on-farm cow performance data and the DNA make-up of cows for these three areas. But today those genomic indexes do not exist.

Bullvine Efficiency Index (BEI)

Based on the information from a number of countries that we have been able to access, the Bullvine has developed the following formulas:

  1. BEI = Production (45%) + Durability (35%) + Health & Fertility (25%)
  2. Production = 30 Fat Yield + 50 Protein Yield + 10 Fat% + 10 Protein%
  3. Durability = 17 Herd Life + 42 Mammary System + 25 Feet & Legs  – 8 Body Depth – 8 Stature
  4. Health & Fertility = 46 Somatic Cell + 23 Daughter Fertility + 23 Udder Depth + 8 Milking Speed


  1. Milk Yield is not included as it contributes to more udder strain and added milk haulage or on-farm water removal costs.
  2. The negative weightings on Body Depth and Stature reflect that larger cows  require extra feed to grow to that size and to maintain that larger size each and every day compared to cows of more moderate size.

Sire Rankings

Using CDN’s Custom Index Calculator  the following sires came to the top of the list,


Please note: Due to the fact that CDN’s Custom Index tool only allows quires by Domestic Canadian, MACE and Genomic individually it is not possible to do an overall ranking.

Key Findings

  • Except for the Domestic Canadian list only a small difference exist between bulls
  • The rankings do not always follow TPI* TM or LPI due mainly to the negative weighting on body depth and stature and increased emphasis on SCS, daughter fertility and udder depth.
  • Although Braedale Goldwyn, Sandy Valley Bolton and Picton Shottle progeny are prominent on these listings, they are from different cow families so inbreeding using the sires on these lists should not be a problem, providing a breeder does not focus on just one of them


  • Braedale Goldwyn appears on the listings himself. As well he has six sons on the lists and is the maternal grandsire of three of the genomic bulls.
  • Sandy Valley Bolton has seven sons on the listings
  • Picton Shottle is the maternal grandsire of nine bulls on the listings
  • Oman sons Long-Langs Oman Oman and Badger-Bluff Fanny Freddie both appear on the listings, as do one son and one maternal grandson of each of them
  • De-Su Observer, yet to be daughter proven, has three sons and one maternal grandson on the genomics listing

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Commercial milk producers often want the decisions on which sires to use to be as simplified as possible. That is why the Bullvine has produced these BEI listings. With due consideration to avoid inbreeding, milk producers can expect BEI to rank bulls for them for production, durability and health & fertility with emphasis on the sires that can convert intake into milk production.

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Durham vs. Goldwyn: A Clash of Two Titans

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Inspired by the recent announcement of Regancrest Elton Durham siring the most excellent cows in the U.S. (Read more – Durham Passes Elevation to Become the Leading Sire of Excellent Cows in the U.S.) and Braedale Goldwyn the most in Canada (Read more – Goldwyn First Ever to 1000 EX Daughters in Canada), we here at The Bullvine thought it would be a great time to take a closer look at these genetic giants to  see who has had more impact on the Holstein breed.

The Regancrest Elton Durham Story

Durham coverBred by Regancrest Farms, Waukon, Iowa, Durham was born in 1994 and would go on to be one of the most popular sires of the first decade of the new millennium. Durham’s pedigree combines Bell and Chief Mark bloodlines as he was by a son of Bell, and Snow-N Denises Dellia (EX).  His dam was out of a Bell daughter. Also Dellia and Effie, his sire’s dam, were both from Chief sons and his pedigree shows four Ivanhoe crosses and two to Fond Matt.  Durham has left a very consistent transmitting pattern in both his daughters and his sons. Due to his low production numbers, he was not used heavily as a sire of sons, but his daughters have seen extensive use as bull mothers.

For five consecutive years 2003-2007, Durham was Premier Sire at World Dairy Expo.  This certainly establishes Durham as a once-in-a-lifetime sire of type.  His pattern leaves long bodies, broad and flat rumps, udders that are well attached and  wide rear udders.  However what made him so successful in the show ring was that Durham also transmitted outstanding dairyness and style.

Durham Sons

Durham sons were extremely consistent in their pattern and, at one point, eight of them were in the top ten spots for P.T.A.T (2005).  Some highlights include:

    From the Saturday family, his dam was Sher-Est Emory Swanny (EX). Mr Sam is also the sire of the popular type sire Pine-Tree Sid, who is the sire of Micheret Alexandra Sid (VG-88-2YR) All-American (tied) and All-Canadian Senior 2yr old in 2010.
    Sampled in Spain, Duplex was the highest type sire in the US for several summaries, with high numbers for udders and feet & legs.  Similar to Mr Sam, Duplex was also from an Emory dam this time going back to Henkeseen Mark Marci (EX-94).
    Modest was Durham’s highest production son from Meadow Bridge Aero Missy (EX).
    At one time, Fortune was in the top 10 on the Canadian LPI list.  Probably best known now for being the sire of the winning 4 year old at the 2012 Royal, Macpes Fortune Koquine EX-94-Can.
    From a great maternal breeding family, Primetime was the Durham son of Windy-Knoll-View Peggy (EX-94), and had a high type proof and for a long time was among the top Herd Life sires in Canada.  He was also the sire of the 2006 World Dairy Expo Junior Champion and All-American fall calf, Wm Ariannas Pt Aesha.

Durham Daughters

Daughters represent  the area where Durham has had his greatest impact. There are many great daughters to choose from. Here are just a few:

    Probably best known for being the dam of KHW Kite Advent who was Premier Sire of the Grand International Red and White show for three consecutive years and KHW Regiment Apple who was Grand Champion of the 2011 International Red & White Holstein show.
    Probably best known for being the second highest selling cow in Canadian History (Read more – Lylehaven Lila Z: Was she really worth $1.15 Million? and 2012 Golden Dam Finalist) she is also the dam of 2012 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee, Comestar Goldwyn Lilac (VG-89) who’s descendants led the way at the recent Genetics By Design Sale (Read more – Genetics By Design – Crosses the $4,000,000 Mark).
    All-American in her own right as a 3yr old in 2005, Atlee is probably best known for her sons who dominate the current type evaluations: MS Atlees Sht Aftershock (+18 Conformation Dec*12); Maple-Downs-I G W Atwood (+17 Conformation Dec*12) and MR Atlees AltaAmazing (+16 Conformation Dec*12).  Atlee herself traces back to the great brood cow AITKENBRAE STARBUCK ADA EX-CAN EX-94-2E-USA DOM 4* (Read more – MD DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist).
    BARBIE is the sixth generation of the Regancrest breeding program combining both the Dellias and the Brinas.  Eleven of her daughters are ranked in the top 25 of the American type index list.  Barbie’s offspring consistently generate top prices at international sales.  In 2009, granddaughter and fellow 2012 Golden Dam finalist, Regancrest S Chassity EX 92, sold in a package with her offspring for $1.5 million.  Barbie is the dam of 14 EX & 16 VG daughters and, currently, one of the breed’s leading type sires – Braxton EX-95.
    Daisy does it all.  She has high production, fitness, longevity and outstanding type.  This Excellent Durham granddaughter of Markwell Bstar Raven EX-95, who as a young cow made many waves at Madison, also transmits it all.  Daisy’s dam Markwell Luke Rapture recently passed away at 18 years of age.  Numerous daughters, granddaughters and their sons distinguish themselves in the genomic rankings.  As a bull dam in 2010, Daisy had some fabulous results with the high-ranking O-Man sons Dakota (the Netherlands), Duke (Germany), and Osaka (Spain).  In 2012, Daisy’s first progeny sampled grandson, Danillo, provided an impressive sequel with top position in the Netherlands.  Also of note is her grandson Goldday (By Goldwyn) who is from A-L-H Destiny and currently the top International Sires on the BPI List (Read more – Bullvine Performance Index (BPI) – Top Sires December 2012)

While Durham daughters were not typically the hardest milkers they were some of the most trouble free cows and, as more attention is being given to this, Durham decedents are gaining more attention again.  Because of their health traits, Durham daughters have been appearing on the Net-Merit lists and have A.I. studs using them heavily as dams  of sons, not just to get type sires, but to also get Net-Merit list toppers.

The Braedale Goldwyn Story

goldwyn test sire sheetGoldwyn has been an extremely popular sire worldwide since his initial proof in 2004.  This is not surprising given the strong maternal line behind him.  His dam Braedale Baler Twine (VG-86 23*) was Canada’s cow of the year in 2007 and his second dam Braedale Gypsy Grand (VG-88 36*) was the Canadian Cow of the year in 2003.  While many think that Goldwyn made the name for this cow family, long before Goldwyn was proven the family was already proving itself with Gypsy Grand sons Goodluck, Freelance, Spy, Freeman and Bold topping the bull list and daughters Cheetah, Second Cut, and Clairvoyant topping the cow lists.  This explains why Baler Twine was contracted as a virgin heifer at a time when the family name was not as prevalent as it is now.

According to E.Y Morwick in his book The Holstein History, “The pedigree of Braedale Goldwyn offers a clinic on the art of successful line breeding.  He carried three close crosses to Madawaska Aerostar: Sharemar James, his sire, was out of the Aerostar daughter, Stelbro Jenine Aerostar (VG); Braedale Baler Twine, his dam, was sired by Maughlin Storm, an Aerostar son; and Braedale Moonriver, dam of Braedale Gypsy Grand (Goldwyn’s maternal grand-dam), was an Aerostar daughter.  In Goldwyn’s lineage were three crosses to Walkway Chief Mark: Shoremar James and Braedale Gypsy Grand were both by Mark CJ Gillbrook Grand, a Chief Mark son; while Gypsy’s maternal granddam was Sunnylodge Chief Vick (VG 2*), a Chief Mark daughter.”

By February of 2009, Goldwyn had racked up a pretty impressive list of accomplishments, including finishing in the top six on the Canadian LPI list 14 out of 15 times.  He was number one once and number two twice.  He was also the top rated sire for conformation 11 times.  In 2008 when Goldwyn won Premier Sire at World Dairy Expo (ending Durham’s long reign), he was not only the youngest sire in 25 years to do so, but he was also the first bull who topped the LPI list to do so. With his win in 2012, Goldwyn has now tied Durham in achieving five consecutive Premier Sire awards at World Dairy Expo.

Goldwyn Sons

In addition to Goldday mentioned above, there have been impressive sons.  While maybe not LPI or TPI list toppers, they have certainly passed on the high type traits that Goldwyn has to offer.  They include:

    Underrated by many, Fever is more than just a high type sire (+16 Conformation Dec *12) he is also a great mastitis and fertility improvement sire making him a great sire to address the major herd culling problems and should probably get greater attention from many breeding programs (Read more – From Fantasy to Reality – Top Sires to Address Herd Culling Problems).
    Similar to Durham, many Goldwyn sons did not excel in production but did offer great improvement in conformation and health and fertility traits.  Dempsey is one such case.  His daughters would not WOW you with their production, but their strong components, outstanding udders and legs, combined with long herd life and low somatic cell score, certainly make them favorites among their owners.
    Atwood is probably the sire that is going to give Goldwyn the closest run for his money, over the next few years, at the Royal and World Dairy Expo.  His daughters are already putting up some impressive show results (Read more – Breeding The Next Show Winners) and he was among our picks for one of the sires to breed the next World Dairy Expo Champion (Read more – 7 Sires to Use in Order to Breed the Next World Dairy Expo Champion).  Of course Atwood is from the magic cross of Goldwyn on Durham that has produced many great results.  His dam is one of the top Durham daughters MD-DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE EX-92-4YR-USA DOM GMD 6* (Mentioned above).
    Lauthority combines two of Canada’s greatest cow families, the Gypsy Grand’s and the Laurie Sheik’s. His dam is COMESTAR LAUTELMA IGNITER who is proving she can leave top sons and top daughters as proven by COMESTAR LAUTAMIE TITANIC VG-89-2YR-CAN 14* who was Reserve All-Canadian Jr. 2yr old in 2006.
    Guthrie is currently Goldwyn’s highest proven LPI son at +2494 that has him in the top 50 MACE  gLPI sires.  Guthrie is one of the few Goldwyn sons over 1000 KG of milk and combines that with extreme type (+16 Conformation) and solid health and fertility traits.

Goldwyn Daughters

Similarly to Durham, Goldwyn  has made a bigger impact through the maternal side. Some of his  most notable daughters include:

The Bullvine Bottom Line

There is no doubt that Goldwyn and Durham are the two greatest type sires since the turn of the century.  However, they have yet to leave that legacy son that tops the lists.  While Goldwyn does have Atwood who is going to give him a run for his money at the upcoming North American shows, there is no top index sire to continue the tradition.  For both sires the greatest impact is going to come through their daughters and in that area Goldwyn holds much more opportunity, since Durham was found to be a carrier for CVM and could not be used in countries like Canada, greatly limiting his potential impact.  Which brings us to the question, “Is Goldwyn’s dominance because  he has had a greater opportunity than Durham did (Read more – Braedale Goldwyn: Is He the Greatest Type Sire Ever?).  What is clear is that Goldwyn daughters have fared much better in the show ring while Durham daughters have proven themselves more when it comes to proven sons.  Though the quality of both these sires’ progeny is certainly of the highest level, it will take time to determine just which one of these two sires will have the greatest final impact.


Is Man-O-Man Really Going to be a Sire of Sons?

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

This week LONGS-LANG OMAN OMAN (Man-O-Man) received outstanding indexes around the world (#6 TPI and #1 LPI) much like the rumours before this proof round had predicted (Read more – Man-O-Man Will He Turn Platinum?). Now many breeders  are again considering him for their breeding programs.  While we can totally support the principle of using the best sire to produce the next generation of AI bulls, we are not sure that Man-O-Man will be a great sire of sons.  Here’s our reasoning.

When you take a close look at Man-O-Man’s progeny, you find that 6 of his daughters worldwide have a higher gLPI  than he has. They are COMESTAR LAUTAMAI MAN O MAN, STANTONS MANOMAN EZRA, SEAGULL-BAY SHAUNA SATURN, BENNER MANOMAN JANESSE, DONNANDALE MANOMAN JAKARTA and STE ODILE MANOMAN MODEL SAPHIR. Three of these daughters have Estimated Breeding Values and three are younger and have Parent Averages.  What really stands out and catches our eye is that none of his sons (PA or EBV) have a higher gLPI than he has.  In fact  his highest gLPI son is almost 5% lower on his indexes than he is. It begs the question, “Will Man-O-Man ever have a son that indexes higher than himself?”

Proven Track Record

When we look at the current CDN Sires of Top 100 LPI Bulls, we find the following sires are proving themselves as sires of sons.

    the sire of Man-O-Man, has 6 sons in the top 100 in Canada with an average LPI of 2496.  This is by far the highest LPI average for sons! O Man has 15 genomically tested daughters worldwide higher than himself and 18 genomically tested sons worldwide  indexing higher than himself.(Ratio of 45% daughters to 55% sons).
    has the next highest son average LPI at 2137 on 11 sons.  Worldwide Bolton has 141 genomically tested daughters and 52 genomically tested sons higher than himself. (Ratio of 73% daughters to 27% sons).
    follows next.  He has 9 sons averaging 2023 LPI. On a global basis Baxter has 292 genomically tested females  and 191 genomically tested sons higher than himself.  (Ratio of 60% daughters to 40% sons).

These previous three sires have produced BOTH daughters and sons, who have surpassed them. Let’s look at another list that is producing top bull mothers but who have yet to produce a legacy son.

    139 daughters genomically tested worldwide higher than himself
    36 sons genomically tested worldwide higher than himself
    (Ratio of 80% daughters to 20% sons)
    91 daughters genomically tested worldwide higher than himself
    39 sons genomically tested worldwide higher than himself
    (Ratio of 70% daughters to 30% sons)
    379 daughters genomically tested worldwide higher than himself
    84 sons genomically tested worldwide higher than himself
    (Ratio of 82% daughters to 18% sons)

The anomaly is Bolton.  He ranks high for progeny average LPI on both the CDN List for Top 100 LPI Bulls (#2) and on the Sire of Top 1000 GLPI Cows (#3). However, his ratio indicates that he will work slightly better as the sire of bull mothers.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

The past foretells the future. Instead of running out to use Man-O-Man to produce that next great sire of sons, he is better used to generate that next great bull mother.  Also, instead of looking to use Man-O-Man sons as the next great sires of AI bulls, breeders  should perhaps  look at sons out of Man-O-Man daughters . History has shown that some bulls are meant to be bull mothers (Goldwyn, Planet and Shottle) and some bulls are more destined to be  sires of sons (AltaBaxter, and Oman). Man-O-Man’s numbers would indicate that he is going to be a better producer of bull mothers.


Everyone loves winning.  No one enters a competition to finish last.  Regardless of who you are every purebred dairy breeder dreams of winning supreme champion at World Dairy Expo.  Your dream of walking in the spotlight, on the colored shavings, with everyone applauding you, starts with choosing the right sires.

Logic would tell you that you take top 10 PTAT sires or Conformation sires and away you go.  However, we all know what wins in the barn does not win in the ring.  That is because the relative importance/weights are different in each area of the Dairy Cow Scorecard.  Therefore, instead of your typical classification weightings that make up the basis of PTAT and Conformation indexes (Udder 40%, Dairy Strength 25%, Feet & Legs 20% and Frame 15%) we decided to place more emphasis on traits that make a difference in the show ring to come up with our short list of sires to use (Udder 35%, Feet & Legs 13%, Stature 13, Strength 13%, Body Depth 14%, Dairy Form 13%). For those of you who think great show cows don’t produce as well we recommend you read Show Cows: All Type and No Action)

We then went to Genomics.  Yes genomics for show cattle.  Many confuse the word genomics and TPI or LPI index when actually genomics is just a more accurate and earlier-in-life method of evaluating or predicting a sire’s ability to transmit improvement for that specific trait or composite.  Therefore, it can actually be a huge tool for breeder who is looking to breed great show cattle.  In the case of young sires, we were also careful to make sure we did not use sires with type genomic traits lower than their parent averages, as our previous analysis showed us (Read – 7 Reasons Why You Wouldn’t Use Sires with DGV’s Lower Than Their Parent Averages).

Let`s get a better understanding of  what sires will help you win that elusive prize of breeding the next great show cow.  The following are the lucky seven sires we would recommend in order to breed the next supreme champion.  Having said that, we admit that all great breeding is two parts homework, one part intuition, and three parts luck.  Let`s start with the homework.




It’s no fluke that MAPLE-DOWNS-I G W ATWOOD EX-90-4YR-USA is probably the next generation of great show bulls available today.  Combining  Goldwyn on Durham would normally be enough but added to that his dam is the exceptional MD-DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE EX-92-4YR-USA DOM GMD 2*.  Atlee also has extreme conformation herself, winning reserve Intermediate Champion at Madison in 2005, and going to be named unanimous ALL-AMERICAN SR.3-YR that year.  She comes by it naturally with her grand dam being MS Kingstead Chief Adeen EX-94 (the full sister to the recently deceased World Champion Shoremar S Alicia EX-97).  Combine that with the greatest type sire of the past half-decade and you have yourself an unbeatable show-winning package.  Atwood offers the great mammary systems his pedigree would indicate but needs to be protected for flat loins and high pins, much like his sire.




If you don’t want to use Atwood himself, how about one of his sons?  Possessing the highest values of all the bulls on our list for stature (5.09), PINE-SHELTER CLAY WOOD will give you that punch of stature needed for show cows.  Not surprisingly since his third dam is none other than 2003 World Dairy Expo Champion, PINE-SHELTER CHEYENNE EX-95-3E-USA DOM. Expect Wood to sire a very balanced cow that needs to be used on cows that have deep ribs and deep heals.  He will give you those big wide rear udders that can do wonders when the judge is standing behind you making those critical decisions.




Possessing the highest genomic values for most conformation traits is GIBBS-I CLAYNOOK DUDE VG-87-1YR-CAN.  (Not to be confused with the Facebook sensation He is One Ugly Dude)  This Atwood son from SONNEK BLT DOUBLE DIPPED VG-85-2YR-CAN has unbelievable genomic values for all major conformation traits, well above his expected parent averages.  This is opposite to the situation for most recently proven Claynook bred bulls, whose PAs exceed their genomic values and whose indexes dropped in a major way from when they were sampled to when they were proven.  (Read – The Hot House Effect On Sire Sampling).  Dude has the genomic values to back it up.  Expect Dude to sire breed leading mammary system improvement and loads of dairy strength, though he will need to be protected on high pins.


REGANCREST BREYA VG-88-3YR-USA DOM 1* - dam of Bradnick

REGANCREST BREYA VG-88-3YR-USA DOM 1* – dam of Bradnick

For those of you who want a sire other than Atwood and Atwood sons, I offer up the next two selections.  In REGANCREST-GV S BRADNICK VG-87-2YR-USA you have no Goldwyn blood at all.  From the REGANCREST-PR BARBIE EX-92-7YR-USA DOM GMD 3* (2012 Golden Dam Finalist) family, by way of a VG-88-3YR-USA DOM 1* Shottle daughter REGANCREST BREYA, and sired by GEN-MARK STMATIC SANCHEZ EX-94-6YR-USA ST’12.  Breya is the former #3 PTAT Cow in the breed and continues the strong legacy that Barbie started.  In Bradnick you get a sire who is over 3 points on all composites except Dairy Comp where he is at 2.92.  In every major type trait Bradnick’s DGV’s are higher than expected from his parents.




As the  REGANCREST S BRAXTON EX-95-5YR-USA son of the #4 GTPI RC cow, SCIENTIFIC GOLD DIOR RAE-ET *RC EX-92-4YR-USA DOM, SCIENTIFIC B DEFIANT is doubly blessed as his is also a red carrier.  Of course Dior Rae is from none other the great show winning SCIENTIFIC DEBUTANTE RAE-ET  EX-92-4YR-USA DOM GMD 2*, tracing back to the Queen of the Breed herself GLENRIDGE CITATION ROXY EX-CAN EX-97-4E-USA GMD 6*.  In Defiant you get a sire stack of Braxton from a Goldwyn from Durham that just drips dairy strength.  Expect Defiant to sire extremely tall framey cows that have strong, snug, shallow udders.  However, you may want to protect him on the cleanliness of bone as well as slight curved legs.


CANYON-BREEZE S AUBURN EX-90 - dam of Airlift

CANYON-BREEZE S AUBURN EX-90 – dam of Airlift

Coming in at #2 is another Atwood son CANYON-BREEZE AT AIRLIFT.  While the female side of this cow family may not have won any major shows, they do have generation after generation of outstanding strength, frames and feet and legs, tracing back to the same bloodlines as the great CANYON-BREEZE ALLEN.  Combine that with Atwood’s udders and you have the potential for greatness.  Expect Airlift to sire extreme feet and leg improvement as well as rumps.  For the line breeding fans out there, Airlift would make a great cross with your Goldwyn’s.  Bringing the needed rump and dairy strength improvement many Goldwyn’s need.  However, much like Allen, you may not want to use him on cattle that are extremely straight legged.  Airlift also makes a great option for those looking to sire show-winning calves as Airlift is almost over 4 points on all major type traits outside of mammary system.




Leading the way, but surely not a surprise, is MR ATWOOD BROKAW.  In Brokaw you combine the two greatest type families in the breed today.  On the paternal  side you have Atwood and his dam MD-DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE EX-92-4YR-USA DOM GMD 2*, 2012 Golden Dam finalist and Reserve Intermediate Champion at Madison in 2005 followed by her grand dam being MS Kingstead Chief Adeen EX-94.  On the maternal side you have REGANCREST MAC BIKASA VG-87-2YR-USA who is the daughter of REGANCREST-PR BARBIE EX-92-7YR-USA DOM GMD 3*, also a 2012 Golden Dam Finalist.  Watch for Brokaw to be extremely tall (4.85 Stature) and have the necessary frame (3.89 Body Comp), dairyness (3.06 Dairy Comp) and bolted on udders (3.77 Udder Comp) to get the job done.  While his rumps may not be ideal for classification, expect them to be bang on when it comes to the show ring, demonstrating the necessary width and boxcar rumps that judges love so much.

Side Note on Goldwyn

For those of you wondering how we could leave probably the most dominant show sire of the past decade BRAEDALE GOLDWYN GP-84-8YR-CAN EXTRA’05 GM’12 off of the list.  Here is our explanation.  While there is no question that Goldwyn is a great sire, and a fantastic type improvement sire, we argue that part of his success came through opportunity as much as through genetic ability.  Since Goldwyn was used on so many cattle including the top type cattle in the breed, because of his outstanding proof, he had far more opportunity than most other sires to leave his mark.  While he has not disappointed, his sons, such as Atwood and his grandsons as in Defiant, have now surpassed him.

The Bottom Line

The truth is everyone loves a winner.  That`s the simple truth.  Ask yourself, “How many times have you seen a packed house to hear the naming of the top new TPI or LPI sire?”  This is not to say that you can’t strive for both.  (Read – Show Cows: All Type and No Action?)  Nevertheless, everyone would love to breed the next great show cow.  That starts with using the correct sires.  In then means using the bloodlines that have proven they have done it before.  We have chosen Brokaw as the greatest sire for show type improvement.  Of course, as is the case with all mating decisions, you need to make sure the sire you choose crosses well and is a corrective mating with the cow you are breeding.

For those of you looking for a more balanced breeding approach, check out The Top 12 Holstein Young Sires to Use for Maximum Genetic Gain.



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