In our recent article, Fact vs. Fantasy – A realistic approach to sire selection, we highlighted the need to choose sires not just on ideal conformation goals, but to also match your sire selection to the key management challenges your herd faces. In typical Bullvine style we wanted to take this one step further and to go from fantasy to reality and identify just what sires will help address these top culling issues.
The Bullvine’s Realistic Approach: Breed to Minimize Your Profit Thieves
In the previous article, we recommended minimum sire proof levels for total index, female fertility, somatic cell score and feet & legs in both the US and Canadian genetic evaluation systems. Since we only have access to DGVs from CDN, all values quoted in this article will be in Canadian terms.
Some considerations set for sires to qualify for consideration are worth repeating:
- A minimum LPI/TPI value (+2000) was set to address the problem of cows being culled for low production;
- Sires had to be on an active marketing list of a North American AI organization; and
- Sires with only genomic evaluations had to have been born in 2011 or, in other words, they are in the initial stages of their sampling time.
Just a reminder of the minimum values The Bullvine set for bulls to be considered.
- Lifetime Profit Index > +2000
- Daughter Fertility > 100
- Somatic Cell Score < 2.90
- Feet & Legs > +5
INFERTILITY: You can’t make milk if you can’t make calves
Breeders know that there is a difference in bulls’ daughters’ ability to become pregnant. It’s probably one of the most important profit metrics on most herds. This is measured as Daughter Fertility in Canada and Daughter Pregnancy Rate in the USA. This information has been available for some time, yet it still seems to be given little heed when sires are selected for use in A.I. and herds.
The Bullvine offers the following sires for use by herds wishing to genetically address infertility.
GENOMICALLY EVALUATED SIRES: ranked by DGV Daughter Fertility Index
- 111 Ever-Green-View FONSY (Super x Shottle)
- 110 Brant-View ALTAOTIS (Observer x Active)
- 110 Latuch Trigger TREK (Trigger x Ramos)
- 109 Rosylane-LLC JOSIAH (Jives x Ramos)
- 109 Blue-Horizon ALATASUPLEX (Super x Planet)
DAUGHTER PROVEN SIRES: ranked by Daughter Fertility Index
- 110 Badger-Bluff Fanny FREDDIE (Oman x Die-Hard)
- 107 Synergy ALTAJENKINS (Mac x Shottle)
- 107 Mainstream MANIFOLD (Oman x Marshall)
- 107 Co-op Oman CAVANA (Oman x Hunter)
- 106 Crackholm FEVER (Goldwyn x Blitz)
MASTITIS – a bane to producing high quality milk
No producer wants mastitis, the cost of loosing a valuable cows, or the possibility of having a tanker load of milk lost due to antibiotics in the load. Additionally milk producers don’t want their vet visit time consumed with mastitis problems. Can mastitis be lowered by using genetic evaluations? “Yes!” claim many producers who know from experience that the daughters of bulls with an SCS over 3.10 are problems. Sure, they may be fine in their first lactation but in later lactations they are usually more prone to mastitis. The Bullvine offers the following sires for use in herds that wish to avoid mastitis, as much as possible:
GENOMICALLY EVALUATED SIRES: ranked by DGV SCS Index
- 2.22 Coyne-Farms JACY (AltaIota x Massey)
- 2.32 Welcome ADOLF (Shameless x Ramos)
- 2.40 Oconnors BAROMETER (Garrett x Shottle)
- 2.47 De-Su ALTAHALEY (Alta Meteor x Goldwyn)
- 2.48 Stantons EVEREST (Observer x Shottle)
DAUGHTER PROVEN SIRES: ranked by SCS Index
- 2.45 Co-op Bosside MASSEY (Mascol x Bret)
- 2.54 Lirr Drew DEMPSEY (Goldwyn x Derry)
- 2.62 Coyne-Farms DORCY (Bolton x Bret)
- 2.62 Coppertop DOBERMAN (Shottle x Granger)
- 2.63 Crackholm FEVER (Goldwyn x Blitz)
Feet and Legs – Vital for High Performing Cows
The heritability of feet & legs is low (.20 to .25) but there are significant differences between sires in their ability to sire animals with functional feet and legs, especially feet. The costs mount up when you consider that cows with sore feet do not come in heat. And their feet must be trimmed more often. On top of that they require medication. In the end, there is milk withdrawal and definitely there is a loss of milk production. The Bullvine offers the following sires for use in herds that care about reducing their costs and losses due to feet and leg problems.
GENOMICALLY EVALUATED SIRES: ranked by their DGV Feet & Legs Index
- +16 Blue-Horizon ALTASUPLEX (Super x Planet) Side View +7, Rear View +10, Foot Angle +7
- +15 Ronelee Shottbolt DENZEL (Shottbolt x Outside) Rear View +12, Foot Angle +7.
- +14 Seagull-Bay HEADLINER (Robust x Planet) Rear View +12, Foot Angle +10.
- +14 De-Su RANSOM (Robust x Ramos) Foot Angle +10, Heel Depth +7. Bone Quality -1.
- +13 Farnear –TBR- BH CASHMONEY (Observer x Goldwyn) Rear View +10.
DAUGHTER PROVEN SIRES: ranked by Feet & Leg Index
- +16 Gen-I-Beq BRAWLER (Baxter x Shottle) – Foot Angle +12, Heel Depth +13.
- +15 Crackholm FEVER (Goldwyn x Blitz) – Bone Quality +10, Rear View +11, Rear Set +13.
- +14 Lirr Drew DEMPSEY (Goldwyn x Derry) – Foot Angle +11, Heel Depth +8, Rear View +9.
- +14 DANILLO (Goldwyn x Oman) – Foot Angle +12, Rear View +13.
- +12 Va-Early-Dawn SUDAN (Jammer x Sailor) – Foot Angle +8, Rear View +13. Rear legs straight.
THE BULLVINE BOTTOM LINE
The sires recommended here are genetically superior for reducing the nagging problems of fertility, mastitis and feet. At the same time, they are superior for their Lifetime Profit Index. Bulls’ daughters that do not reach their potential due to any or all of these limiting factors are not needed on your farm or in the national herd. Choose the best sires that correct the actual problems that you face and thereby give you the opportunity to increase your profit per cow per year. This method of selecting sires is not showy like winning in the show ring is but your bottom line on your year-end financial statement will be a larger number. Taking your goal of greater profits from fact to reality.
Looking for more mating recommendations and insights…click here.
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