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16 Sires Every Dairy Breeder Should Look At For Their Breeding Programs

top13of2013If you are like most breeders between the time spent sorting through the many different lists from around the world and listening to the propaganda the A.I. companies put out promoting their sires, the hype is enough to make a breeder’s head spin.  In order to bring clarity to the confusion, the Bullvine has filtered through the many lists, brought them into a common base and has developed the following four categories  sires that you should take a look specifically  for your breeding program.

Overall Performance

When looking for the sire the will help improve your herd across the board, we looked for sires that have a balance of production and longevity.  Additionally, we wanted high health and fertility traits that deliver a low maintenance cow (Read more – Fact vs. Fantasy: A realistic approach to sire selection).

    (Planet x O Man x BW Marshall)
    With his validation from top genomic sire to proven sire status, Observer is a sire that should be on all breeders’ lists.  This former No. 1 GTPI genomic young sire and worldwide father of sons is now the #1 gTPI sire in the USA and transmits excellent production (+1,602 Milk) and Protein (+52 Protein, +.02% Protein) with highly reliable data from over 200 milking daughters.  OBSERVER daughters have exceptional udders (+3.02 Udder Composite) and Type (+2.70 Type).  Observer will work best on tall females with lots of frame and that need udder improvement.
    (O Man x Aaron x Bellwood)
    When it comes to your breeding goals, Man-O-Man certainly is a sire that should still get consideration even for the most aggressive genomic programs.  Look for Man-O-Man to sire outstanding production from cattle that have correct feet and legs and strong mammary systems.  One area to watch him for is his rump angle, as his daughters can be a touch high in the pins.
    Massey is a popular sire of sons combining elite indexes with a great outcross opportunity.  Massey daughters are snug uddered with strong attachments.  Though they should be protected for rump angle (high) and dairy strength, his low somatic cell score, high herd life/productive life and strong fertility make Massey a great sire for your breeding program.
    (Facebook x Shottle x O Man)
    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 on using him is his body depth.  Both his sire stack and his DGVs would say this area needs protecting.
    (Man-O-Man x Lawnboy x September Storm)
    If you’re breeding for polled you are most certainly thinking of where the market is heading.  One area that I always find interesting is those breeders who breed polled, but in fact are only selecting for type.  If you are going to go polled you need to consider overall improvement and production as well.  Earnhardt P is one of the premier gTPI polled bulls in the breed.  He sires high protein and extreme NM$.  He has been used heavily as a sire of sons as a result of his polled status and high Net Merit.  Look for Earnhardt P to sire high components, with solid feet and legs and mammary systems.  One area he will need to be protected on is his rumps, as he can leave high pinned daughters that are a touch narrow.

Production Improvement

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 Observer, Man-O-Man and Earnhardt P mentioned above we recommend the following sires to improve production.

    (O Man x AltaSam x Patron)
    ALTAESQUIRE’s 2nd crop daughters seem to be outperforming his first crop proof.  Watch for ALTAESQUIRE to sire more production and components as well as better mammary systems than his current proof would indicate.  While offering dairy strength and rump improvement, ALTAESQUIRE needs to be used cautiously on mammary systems and feet and legs.  But if you are looking to put a production punch into a good uddered and legged cow/heifer, ALTAESQUIRE will do the trick.
    (Bolton x O Man x BW Marshall)
    ALTAGOALMAN is a proven sire from the high Genomic Index De-Su herd.  Though ALTAGOALMAN will sire outstanding production both his genomic proof and his daughter information would indicate that he needs to be protected on dairy strength.  He delivers significant overall production improvement.  While AltaGoalman will not hurt your udders and legs, he certainly needs to be protected on body depth and rump.  AltaGoalman is most definitely best suited for commercial environments but can also be used for a shot of production, if used carefully.
    (Robust x Planet x Shottle)
    This Robust son from 2012 Golden Dam Finalist AMMON-PEACHEY SHAUNA VG-87-2YR-USA, really is a genomic wonder.  Not only does he have some of 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 over 2500 lbs. for milk, with positive component deviations, 2.50 for type, and over 7 for productive life.
    (O Man x Signif-P x Goldwyn)
    For those of you looking to get into polled there is Ohare-P.  Extreme production combined with functional type and good health traits make Ohare-P a sire that if you are breeding for the future, should be   part of your program.  He will need to be protected a little on % components, and frame and capacity.

Longevity Improvement

For those of you who  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, we recommend the following sires:

    (Goldwyn x Durham x Storm)
    While many would consider Atwood a show bull, and he is very good at that (Read more: 7 Sires to Use In Order To Breed the Next World Dairy Expo Champion) he is also a great longevity sire as well.  Unlike many of the top show sires who are negative for production and low fertility scores, Atwood actually has solid components and acceptable health and fertility numbers.  While you most certainly would want to protect him on production and daughter fertility, Atwood will add a punch of type to your high producing 2yr olds that, for whatever reason, may not be around for many more lactations.
    (Bolton x Bret x Rudolph)
    Dorcy is proving to be an outstanding longevity improvement sire, through both 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 using DORCY.  Dairy Strength and Rump are only slightly above breed norms.
    (Altakool x Atwood x Shottle)
    An Atwood son sure to get a lot of attention is Alta5G.  While not from a big name show ring family, this type sire has a breed leading +23 DGV for Conformation in Canada.  Alta5G is from the same family at De-Su as Observer and, much like the other members of this outstanding genomic family, it seems that generation after generation keeping getting higher and higher numbers.  Look for him to sire daughters with outstanding udders and feet and legs, with loads of dairy strength.  One area that he will need to be protected on is his rumps, specifically rump angle and pin setting.
    This outcross sire offers great longevity improvement combined with strong health and fertility.  He does need to be protected on protein and milking speed.  However his great feet and legs, udders and health and fertility make him an outcross sire you don’t want to miss.

Health and Fertility Improvement

One area that is not getting enough attention from most breeders is health and fertility.  While there is no question that every breeder knows that more pregnancies equal more profits, many of the top ranking sires actually have negative values for health and fertility.  The following are some sires that should help you change that:

    (O Man x Die-Hard x Metro)
    If you are going to talk health and fertility, you’re going to have to take a look at Freddie.  While his type numbers may scare some, you cannot deny his extreme health and fertility numbers combined with solid production.  While I don’t expect to see many Freddie daughters in the show ring any time soon, he will work well in most commercial environments.  He will leave moderate sized daughters that have strong udders but very much need to be protected for dairy strength.
    (Domain x Bolton x O Man
    S-S-I DOMAIN LITHIUM has some of the highest DGV’s for health and fertility.  Lithium is from one of the top genomic cows in the breed, GLEN-TOCTIN BOLT LUCILLE VG-87-DOM. Combining high herd life, low Somatic Cell counts and high daughter fertility with over 1600 lbs. of milk, 110 of fat and protein and 2.5 points on type makes Lithium a great choice when looking for improvement.  It is interesting to note that his DGV’s for health and fertility are almost 8% higher than the next highest genomic young sire (BRANDT-VIEW ALTAOTIS) and 50% higher than his own official index, indicating that he really is the sire to use when wanting to address this area that has flown under the radar far too long.
    (Destry x Lawn Boy x September Storm)
    For those of you that are really looking to breed to where the market is heading, there is LADD-P-RED.  He is the highest health and fertility polled sire in the breed today.  These are two key aspects that breeders around the world are looking for.  (Read more: Why Is Everyone So Horny For Polled? and How Healthy Are Your Cows?).  While LADD-P-RED will not wow you with his production, his strong components, with solid type make him a sire that will fit into most breeding programs.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

We have stated it many times.  In maximizing your genetic gain, you can’t simply choose   the very 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 16, we have tried to provide you with insight into which sires will provide you with the maximum gain in each specific area.  It`s all about choosing what is best for you.


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