With dairy breeder`s constant objective of   breeding the highest genetic index animals possible, inbreeding has become more of a problem than ever.  Looking through the top index lists you realize with each new generation of sires that the rate of inbreeding is increasing at an alarming rate.

Genetic Diversity and Inbreeding Article - September 2014-3

In 2011, nine bulls sired 50% of the 1,300 young bulls that entered A.I. in North America. A mere 18 bulls sired 50% of the 3,000 that entered A.I. globally.  In sires entering AI in 2011, the rate of inbreeding increased 1% that year alone and is now over 7%.  That is over 2% higher than it was in 1992 and 5% higher than it was in 1982.

In order to help breeders find outcross sires, the Bullvine has prepared this list of 12 sires that offer the greatest genetic diversity while still offering a high level of genetic gain.

Overall Performance Improvement

If you are looking for an outcross sire that offers balanced improvement for production, durability and health and fertility, you cannot go wrong with these three sires:

Dairy Bull - 014HO05936 - Coyne-Farms Bolton Dom-ETDom *BY

Coyne-Farms Bolton Dom-ET  BY
Bolton x Bret CV x Rudolph

DOM offers breed leading overall performance and has no Goldwyn, Shottle, Planet or Oman in the first three generations of his pedigree.  He is a carrier of Brachyspina (BY) but Brachyspina is a recessive trait, and, to be an affected calf, both sire and dam must have passed the recessive gene to their offspring. So unless you are mating him to a BY female you should be okay.  Dom is a very balanced sire offering strong overall production (+1558 lbs. milk) and solid components (+0.10 %F +0.01 %P) He is also strong for type and durability (+2.75 PTAT, +2.51 UDC, +2.92 FLC) and has solid health and fertility traits.  Dom will need to be protected on his straightness of rear legs (posty), as well as his rumps, specifically his pin width.




Dairy Bull - 029HO14142 - Coyne-Farms Dorcy-ETDorcy

Coyne-Farms Dorcy-ET  BY
Bolton x Bret CV x Rudolph

There is Dom`s better-known full brother Dorcy.  Dorcy is proving to be an outstanding longevity improvement sire, both through his sons and daughters. 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.  Like Dom he will need to be protected on his straightness of rear legs (posty) as well as his pin width.









Dairy Bull - 007HO12165 - Bacon-Hill Montross-ETMontross

Bacon-Hill Montross-ET   TY
Mogul x Bolton x AltaRolex

If you are looking for a high genomic sire that offers overall improvement and is still an outcross, Montross will fit the bill.  Montross is a Dorcy grandson (through sire Mogul, who is a Dorcy from a Marsh).  As is typically the case with many actual outcross pedigrees, his maternal side is not that well known. However, his dam UNIQUE-STYLE BOLTON MONEY EX-91 DOM has certainly become a popular bull mother, with 15 sons at five different AI units. At +845 NM$ there is no question that MONTROSS will offer an excellent production kick and have enough durability, health and fertility to last. At over two points for UDC and FLC MONTROSS has strong functional type but should be protected for straightness of rear legs and overall frame and capacity traits. However, as we have seen from research in the past, you don’t need extreme frame traits in order to achieve extreme lifetime production. (Read more: She Ain’t Pretty – She Just Milks That Way!).


Production Improvement

For those of you that are more commercially focused or maybe those of you who have not focused enough on production and the milk check is showing it, in addition to Montross, here are our recommendations:

Dairy Bull - 029HO13991 - Kings-Ransom B RubleRuble

Kings-Ransom B Ruble   TY
Bolton x Boliver x Bombay

With no Goldwyn, Shottle, Planet or Oman, Ruble is a very unique high production sire.  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 foreudders, 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.




Dairy Bull - 097HO40076 - Claytop Js Predestine-ETPredestine

Claytop Js Predestine-ET   TY
Jet Stream x Toystory x Boliver

A very popular outcross production sire is Predestine. At +2657 lbs milk and solid components, Predestine offers extreme production improvement.  His daughters are durable (+2.8 PL) but not fancy (+1.63 PTAT, +1.68 UDC, +0.69 FLC).  You will have to watch him on his SCS, but if you have a low producing solid conformation heifer with a big frame that needs a quick shot of production, Predestine will do just that.











Dairy Bull - 526HO00004 - RocketRocket

Rocket  TL TD
Sudan x Freddie x Bolton

A genomic young sire that catches our eye is Rocket.  Rocket is a Sudan son from Vieuxsaule Freddie Tanya VG-88, who is a grand daughter of Vieuxsaule Allen Dragonfly EX-94 2E 12* (Read more: VIEUX SAULE ALLEN DRAGONFLY: 2013 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee). While there is Oman in this pedigree (3rd generation through Freddie), given that Rocket is sired by Sudan, an extreme outcross sire, and has Bolton and Allen as the maternal great and great great grand sire, Rocket has a very low expected future inbreeding value.   Rocket should sire component improvement (+0.09 %F and +0.02 %P) and strong production (1784 lbs milk).  He also has the bonus of having very strong health and fertility traits (+3.5 PL, +2.78 SCS).  While Rocket has a solid type evaluation (+2.68 PTAT, +2.28 UDC, +2.32 FLC), he will need to be protected on his bone quality and loin strength.


Longevity Improvement

For those of you that are looking to breed cattle that last lactation after lactation or maybe you are having problems with your 2 year olds not coming back for a 2nd lactation, in addition to Dorcy, we recommend the following outcross sires:

Dairy Bull - 007HO12105 - S-S-I Mogul ReflectorReflector

S-S-I Mogul Reflector   TY
Mogul x Super x Ramos

From the same family that produced Bookem, Reflector is an outcross sire that should get much attention.   Bred through the ART program at Select Sires that was designed to produce outcross sires, Reflector is a great example of this.  (Read more: Select Sires vs. Semex – A Contrast in Cooperatives  and Should A.I. Companies Own Females?).  At +6.6 for PL and over two points on all type composites (+2.77 PTAT, +2.16 UDC, +2.22 FLC) and at +2.8 DPR and +2.67 SCS, Reflector daughters are going to last. While show ring enthusiasts may not be quick to use Reflector (-7 height at front end, 0 for body depth), he will sire strong mammary systems and feet and leg improvement.





Dairy Bull - 179HO00099 - Mr Apples Mcgucci-ET


Mr Apples McGucci-ET  RC TY
McCutchen x Regiment-RED x Durham

From the legendary KHW Regiment Apple-Red-ET CV EX-96 3E DOM, comes McGucci an outcross longevity improvement sire, that you should be taking a look at. (Read more: KHW Regiment Apple-Red – Beauty, performance, and even more record) When Jerry Jorgensen of Ri-Val-Re Holsteins purchased a whole flush from Apple he was looking to produce something a little different and that is exactly what he got when he crossed her on McCutchen. (Read more: BREEDING RI-VAL-RE: Where Looking Good in the Stall Is Just As Important As Looking Good On Paper).   While McGucci will not be considered an overall production improver, he does offer solid component improvement (+0.27%F and +0.16 %P), with high durability (+3.4 PL) and very high conformation (+4.03 PTAT, +3.20 UDC, +3.78 FLC), with solid health traits (+2.77 SCS, +0.01 DPR).  He will need to be protected on his shortness of teats and high pins.


Dairy Bull - 147HO02426 - Ronelee Dorcy Deligent-ETDeligent

Ronelee Dorcy Deligent-ET  BY
Dorcy BY x Boliver x Outside

Combining two popular outcross pedigree`s, Deligent is a longevity improvement sire that you should consider using.   His dam Ronelee Boliver Dreary-ET VG-86 2Y is a maternal sister to the popular, proven sire Domain. Deligent was bred to deliver long lasting daughters. With outstanding Herd Life/Productive Life, breed leading mammary systems scores and strong Feet and Legs scores, Deligent is a longevity specialist, though he does need to be somewhat protected for dairy strength. Look for DELIGENT to combine this longevity with reliable production and type numbers.







Health and Fertility Improvement

One area that is starting to get more attention by most breeders is health and fertility. While there is no question that every breeder knows that more pregnancies equals more profits, many of the top ranking sires actually have negative values for key health and fertility traits.   In addition to Reflector and Predestine, here are three outcross sires that will help you improve the health and fertility in your herd.

Dairy Bull - 007HO10647 - Ladinodale Aaron-Red-ETAaron-Red

Ladinodale Aaron-Red-ET   TY
LB P-Red x Paradox-RED x Rudolph

If you are looking for an outcross sire that will help improve the health traits in your herd, you need to consider Aaron-Red.  While he is certainly not a production improvement sire (+17 lbs Milk), he does offer some significant improvement in productive life (+3.7), DPR (+2.3) as well as calving ease (+4.8% SCE & 4.7% DCE).  Aaron offers reliable type improvement (+2.01 PTAT, +2.06 UDC and +1.53 FLC). He will need to be protected on his high pins and overall dairy strength.








Dairy Bull - 029HO13566 - Brandt-View Howard-ETHoward

Brandt-View Howard-ET   TY
Alton CV x Capri x Manfred

This reliably proven Alton son is from a 2E-92 Capri (by JUROR) with a top record of almost 58,000 in one lactation.  The family is consistently noted for their extreme production values, consistent type and excellent health/fitness traits.   Howard daughters are profit makers. They increase milk production while lowering SCS to qualify for milk premiums and possess outstanding health and fertility numbers (+3.3 PL, +1.2 DPR, 3.9% SCE). Typical Howard daughters are clean boned, hardworking and moderate sized and long necked, open in the rear rib and very clean through the thigh.  Rear udders are high, wide, and capacious.  He will need to be protected on his overall size and stature as well as his dairy strength.






Dairy Bull - 011HO11116 - Rosylane-Llc AltabowieAltaBowie

Rosylane-Llc Altabowie   TY
Bowser x Ramos x O Man

Yes there is O Man in AltaBowie`s pedigree, but considering that he is sired by Bowser (Jet Stream x Boliver) and his dam is a Ramos daughter, AltaBowie has very low expected future inbreeding values (5.9%).  From the exceptional breeding program at Rosy-Lane Holsteins (Read more: ROSY-LANE HOLSTEINS – “Don’t Follow the Herd!”), AltaBowie offers many plusses.  He is +1419 for lbs milk (though low fat %), durable type (+7.6 PL), and high DPR (+3.6) and low calving ease (4.2% SCE and 3.7% DCE).  While his conformation break down will not wow you (+1.44 PTAT, +1.67 UDC and +1.90 FLC), he is correct where he needs to be, (Udder depth, fore and rear attachments, as well as foot angle and heal depth).  He will certainly need to be protected on his dairy strength and rumps.



The Bullvine Bottom Line

Genetic diversity is a critical problem in the Holstein dairy cattle breeding industry.  Indeed the rate of genetic gain has accelerated. But so too has the rate of inbreeding.  With $23 lifetime cost per percent inbreeding, it is easy to overreact and try to avoid inbreeding at all costs. The trick is not to use sires that are inferior, but rather to have a balance of genetic improvement and enough of an outcross not to accelerate the inbreeding.   These 12 sires will do just that and help control the rate of inbreeding in your herd.

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