The 12 Holstein Sires to Maximize Genetic Gain

With the December 2012 genetic evaluation release and all the changes to the different systems, many breeders are finding it hard to figure out   which sires are the ones they should be taking a closer look at for their breeding programs. In typical Bullvine fashion we decided to not only provide you with the top lists (Read more in our Genetic Evaluations Section) but also to look at  what sires will help you maximize your genetics, by identifying which ones  address certain needs.  Here is what we  found from the 99% Rank worldwide for their area of specialty.

Overall Performance Improvement

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. 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 three.

    (Bolton x Bret x Rudolph)
    Last proof run,  we had  concerns with Dorcy as his parent averages and DGVs were higher than his actual daughter performance. However, with his daughter numbers nearly doubling in December, his actual daughter performance  is now higher than his PA’s and right on where his DGV had been predicted.  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 dairy strength fat percent and specifically his body depth and chest width.
    (O Man x Aaron x Bellwood)
    There is no question that the story around the world is how well Man-O-Man daughters are performing (Read more – Man-O-Man will he turn platinum?)  While we are huge Man-O-Man fans, he has  yet to leave a son who has Genomic results that are  higher than his own on the CDN system (Read more – Is Man-O-Man really going to be a sire of sons?).  When it comes to your breeding goals, he 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 who 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.
    (Facebook x Shottle x O Man)

    One sire that is certainly going to be on the top of everyone’s list is Enforcer.  He may be hard to get your hands on as he is just one year old and Semex will probably only be releasing him for contract matings (Read more – Select Sires vs. Semex – A contrast in cooperatives). This Marbri Facebook son has 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.  For those looking for an early release genomic sire, check out GenerVations Liquid Gold born on the same day as Enforcer but yet publically available (Read more – $750 Dollar Semen! Are you crazy?)

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 Enforcer and Man-O-Man, here are some top production sires you should consider.

    (Bolton x O Man x Adam)

    Much like the Nerello grapes that the Mascali area of Italy is famous for, Mascalese is a sire that works best when used to balance out a pedigree by offering a  strong production infusion.  Mascalese is the perfect mating for Planet’s, Man-O-Man’s and Goldwyn’s, as he will add the dairy strength and rump improvement that is needed.
    (Bolton x O Man x BW Marshall)

    Holding strong in the US proving system that saw many sires drop over the last proof round is AltaGoalman.  This proven Bolton son from the Genomic powerhouse De-Su, offers extreme production with acceptable percent components, 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.
    (Niagra x O Man  x Throne)

    Certainly a sire to consider, for those looking to push the genomic envelope and yet still wanting to find new bloodlines, is Vigor. Vigor is a RI-VAL-RE 2338 NIAGRA son from a TRIONE MAN IDRA VG-89-ITA. She is from one of Italy’s most dominant cow families TRIONE AARON BELLUNA VG-89-ITA.  Idra is an O-Man daughter of TRIONE THRONE ELENA VG-88-ITA.  Look for Vigor to be the genomic equivalent of AltaGoalman and needs to be protected on rump and dairy strength but offers tremendous production improvement.  He is a great option for a progressive breeder looking to develop a more unique bloodline.

Longevity Improvement

Recent changes to the US system for productive life rankings may have breeders scratching their heads.  Here are some sires that bring some light to the situation. In addition to Dorcy and Enforcer, other sires to consider for longevity improvement are:

    (Goldwyn x O Man x Durham)

    Goldday is a Goldwyn son from A-L-H DESTINY VG-87-3YR-USA DOM GMD. Destiny is of course the popular bull mother from Markwell Durham Daisy (Read more – Markwell Durham Daisy – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist), proven in Germany. Goldday is also the full brother to former #1 German sire Danillo. Look for Goldday to sire unbelievable udders and legs as well as long herd life.  One area where you will want to protect Goldday is rump angle. Be cautious in using him on cattle that need production improvement.
    (O Man x Die Hard x Metro)

    Freddie’s jump back to the top of the TPI list is not surprising as his daughters continue to perform.  Much like his father O Man, Freddie  was not given much use,  as his low type numbers scared many breeders away.  But, also like his father, his daughters tend to last much longer than their type numbers would indicate.   That’s because Freddie has outstanding fitness traits that helps him leave low maintenance daughters.  They are not angular and they are not deep but they do they milk hard and last long.
    (Goldwyn x Blitz x Mattie G)

    Battling with GUTHRIE and the Goldwyn sons of MD-DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE (Read more – MD-Delight Durham Atlee – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist) Fever may be the best proven Goldwyn son in the world. Fever is just one of the sires that does a lot of things right.  He has strong fitness traits combined with great type numbers that contribute to daughters lasting a long time.  Considering that production is one of the lower reasons breeders cull cattle (Read more – Fact vs. Fantasy: A realistic approach to sire selection), it’s no wonder that Fever daughters will have a long career in many herds.

Health and Fertility Improvement

As I tried to point out in our recent article, Who killed the market for good dairy cattle?, breeders need to focus more on what their actual management goals are and less on their perceptions, or misconceptions.  That means putting a greater focus on health and fertility, when choosing mating sires in your herd.  In addition to Enforcer, Fever and Freddie here are some sires to consider:

    (Rolex x Tugolo x AltaFormation)

    While not a name that most breeders know, Phonic is certainly going to get some attention from breeders looking to breed to where the industry is headed.  With extremely low SCS and high daughter fertility combined with functional type and above average production, Phonic is leaving daughters that are extremely low maintenance. Tracing back to the great Italian brood cow Cervi FIRESTONE, this family has produced such sires as BUXON, WOODSTOCK and PADERNUS. Given his high rump angle, it is interesting that he is such a good  calving ease sire.
    (Britt x Tugolo x Metro)

    In Vars you get one of the top proven sires for daughter pregnancy rate, calving ease and productive life. Surprisingly this Britt son has an outstanding fat percentage coming from his MGS Tugolo.  However, his sire stack also dictates that he very much needs to be protected on type, especially udders.  It is ironic that a sire with such high herd life also sires deep udders that need improvement in udder cleft.
    (Russell x O Man x BW Marshall)

    Cobra is an early Russell son from a deep cow family.  His genomic test results are extremely high, especially for the health and fertility traits. Breeders looking to enhance the profitability of their herd and push the genomic envelope will certainly be looking to Cobra.   Cobra should be protected on bone quality as well as body depth.

Type Improvement

Hey everyone loves a winner and extra value, so that is why we added 3 extra type improvement sires. Great show cows are as much bred as they are “made”, as is evident by some of the great show cows from Quality Holsteins (Read more – Quality Holsteins – Well-deserved congratulations)   In addition to the 7 Sires to use in order to breed the next world dairy expo champion, we offer these three sires to consider.

    (Stormatic x BW Marshall x Winchester)

    Breeders who were are the 2012 Royal Winter Fair (Read more – The 2012 Royal Winter Fair – One of the greatest stories every told!) will certainly find it hard to argue with this selection.  Valleyvillle Rae Lyn VG-89-2YR, sired by Sanchez certainly impressed many and will give even the best Goldwyns a run for their money in 2014 (Read more – Quality Cattle Look Good Every Day). Look for Sanchez to sire extreme frames and superb feet and legs, though he may need to be protected on rear teat position and teat length
    (Duplex x Allen x Progress)

    For those of you looking for something with an international flair but a solid base, there is Glauco.  Glauco is the Duplex son of the great Italian show cow TOC-FARM ALLEN AMYLY EX-96-ITA, who is from a EX-93-ITA Progress and then the great brood cow SUNNYLODGE SKYCHIEF AMY EX-95-2E-GBR 5* who of course is from an EX-2E 8* Tab then the legendary SUNNYLODGE PRELUDE SPOTTIE VG-87-3YR-CAN 18*.  Glauco daughters are extremely tall and open and have  amazing rear udders. He should be protected on the  set to his rear legs (curved ), similar to Skychief but with much better bone quality.
    (Bookem x Shottle x Goldwyn)

    For those of you who breed for type but are willing to use genomic sires, Doorman is for you.  This Bookem from a Shottle has no great show cattle in his pedigree, but, at +22, he does  have a very high genomic test for conformation. Genomically test speaking, he is the perfect sire for the show ring. Doorman will be a great test to see if Genomics works in the show ring (Read more – Does Genomics Belong in the Show Ring?)

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 tried to provide you with insight into which sires will provide you with the maximum gain in each specific area.

Check out our  Genetic Evaluations Section for more information.


GOING OFF THE MAP: 14 Outcross Holstein Sires That Don’t Include GPS

With the increased genetic similarity coming from genomic selection and the accelerated rate of genetic advancement, the need to pay attention to outcross sires is important. Never before has it been so difficult to find outcross sires, even though there is a much larger global marketplace. As the world genetics market has grown, the variance in genetic offerings has actually decreased. In most countries genetic indexes are either getting more and more similar or breeders are starting to speak a more common language such as TPI or Net Merit.

As a follow up to our The Top 12 Holstein Genomic Young Sires to Use for Maximum Genetic Gain, we decided to look for outcross sires either proven or genomic test sires that would offer breeders the maximum genetic gain while providing needed diversity. The word outcross or what constitutes an outcross sire can be tricky depending on where you are located. For our purposes, we are calling an outcross sire something that comes off the GPS map, or the Goldwyn, Planet, and Shottle map, if you will. That means that they do not have any of these three great sires anywhere in the 1st or 2nd generation of their pedigree.

Please note that we did leave Man-O-Man and his sons in our list because we felt that in relation to the total population base he received limited use due to his limited semen supply. He was used fairly heavily for contract matings but has only 393 daughters in his production proof and 190 daughters in his type proof in the USA

Overall Performance Improvement

While there is no question Man-O-Man offers outstanding overall genetic gain in a relative outcross package, here are some other sires to consider when looking for overall performance improvement:

  • LEOTHE DEXTERMAN (Man-O-Man x AltaBaxter)
    If you cannot get Man-O-Man, why not go for what is arguably his best son, LEOTHE DEXTERMAN? DEXTERMAN offers outstanding component improvement, though he should not be expected to significantly improve overall production. Not surprising considering his dam LEOTHE BAXTER DAPHNEE VG-86-2YR-CAN just squeezed out 10,799 kgs in a 365-day record. DEXTERMAN’s maternal line shows generation after generation of solid conformation with average production. Look for DEXTERMAN to offer solid durability and health traits with balanced conformation. DEXTERMAN will fit the bill when looking for extreme component improvement. Look for him to breed much as his maternal line strong conformation, outstanding components, but needs protected on overall production.
  • MOUNTFIELD MSY MAURICE (Massey x Boliver)
    If you are looking for more of an outcross or have used lots of Man-O-Man try MOUNTFIELD MSY MAURICE. MAURICE and his Dorcy brother MOUNTFIELD SSI DCY MOGUL offer a great outcross option. MAURICE has high TPI, NM$ and Type scores making him a great option for overall performance. Though based on his genomic numbers you will need to protect him on dairy strength and a little on rumps.
  • CO-OP BOSSIDE MASSEY (Mascol x Bret)
    If you are looking for a proven sire option, you cannot go wrong with CO-OP BOSSIDE MASSEY. The current #1 daughter proven sire in the US, MASSEY breeds long-lasting cows that work well in all environments. Watch for MASSEY to sire even better production numbers than his proof would indicate, as well as being a little dairier and stronger than expected, but he will need to be protected on Rumps.
  • ZANI BOLTON MASCALESE (Bolton x O man)
    For those looking for a bloodline not as well known to North American breeders, try ZANI BOLTON MASCALESE. With a dam that has a MACE index of over +4000 MLPI, it can be new territory for many breeders to use a MACE sire that is so high. Concerns that his proof is all parent average and genomics are not unusual. However, when it comes to MASACLESE. his daughters are actually backing up what his family and genomics would indicate. His young sire proof estimates (65% Genomics and 35% Parent Average) would be +3019 MLPI and his MACE proof has him at+ 2972, telling you that, while his daughters are slightly lower, they are not far off. Look for MASCALESE to transmit outstanding balance and type though do be careful on his component percentages.

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, here are our recommendations other than Man-O-Man for overall production, and genomic sires MAURICE & DEXTERMAN for components to use to gain the greatest production increase:

  • DE-SU ALTAGOALMAN (Bolton x O man)
    ALTAGOALMAN is a proven sire from the high Genomic Index De-Su herd. With a PA MLPI of +1960 and DGV MLPI of +2710, ALTAGOALMAN’s official proof MLPI is +2887, indicating that his daughters are significantly outperforming PA expectations for both type and production traits. 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.
  • UFM-DUBS ALTAESQUIRE (O man x AltaSam)
    Another proven sires option is ALTAESQUIRE. ALTAESQUIRE’s 2nd crop daughters seem to be outperforming his first crop proof. Watch for ALTAESQUIRE to sire more production, components as well as better mammary systems than his current proof would indicate. Currently ALTAESQUIRE’s proof is held back significantly by his low parent average MLPI of +1763, that is 1171 points lower than his current official MLPI proof of +2934. With the addition of more daughters watch for his official CDN proof to have him among the top 2-3 LPI spots. 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 in a good uddered and legged cow/heifer ALTAESQUIRE will do the trick.

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 we recommend the following outcross sires:

  • RONELEE DORCY DELIGENT (Dorcy x Boliver)
    RONELEE DORCY DELIGENT just spells longevity (Dorcy x Boliver x Outside x Rudolph), he 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 strong production and type numbers.
    From the same family as MOUNTFIELD MSY MAURICE comes the Dorcy son MOGUL. Much like MAURICE, MOGUL combines high TPI, NM$ and Type scores as well as breed leading longevity scores. With a PL +7.1, +3.29 UDC. +3.13 FLC, +1.22BD and +1.62 Dairyness, MOGUL really is the complete longevity package. Combine that with over +1,000 lbs. of milk and plus components and MOGUL daughters will be producing for many years.
  • COYNE-FARMS DORCY (Bolton x Bret)
    Well if you don’t want to use genomic young sires, you can always use the sire that is producing those sons, COYNE-FARMS DORCY. While DORCY’s actual daughter numbers are slightly below his Genomic and Parent averages (Read – The Effect Genomics has On the August 2012 New Release Daughter Proven Sires) he 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.
  • BERTAIOLA MINCIO (Bolton x Boss Iron)
    For breeders looking to go a little further off the GPS map, there is BERTAIOLA MINCIO. This high fertility Bolton son combines high type with great production, which is resulting in outstanding results in his current daughter performance. Watch for MINICO to sire great udders and feet & legs though you may want to watch him on somatic cell score.

Health and Fertility Improvement

One area that is not getting enough 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 especially the GPS sires actually have negative values for health and fertility. The following are a couple of specialist sires that should help you change that:

  • ALL-RIEHL PAXTON (O Man x Rudolph)
    While ALL-RIEHL PAXTON has a little older sire stack, he does possess the highest combined values for Somatic Cell Score, Udder Depth, Milking Speed, Daughter Fertility and Lactation Persistency. PAXTON daughters are shallow uddered with strong rear attachments and walk on strong feet and legs. While not big, or deep bodied they do possess good width of chest and nice slopey rumps. For those looking for show type and angularity, PAXTON is not the sire for you, but for those looking for easy to manage daughters that have long term profitability PAXTON will do the trick.
  • S-S-I DOMAIN LITHIUM (Domain x Bolton)
    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.

Type Improvement

Finding a top type sire that has no Goldwyn in it’s pedigree is next to impossible (Read – 7 Sire to Use in Order to Breed the Next World Dairy Expo Champion). Finding ones with no Planet or Shottle as well was almost ridiculous. In addition to MOGUL and MINICO, you could also consider:

  • SIEMERS TOYS HERO 9701 (Toystory x Durham)
    While HERO’s pedigree does not have some of the big time show cow’s like many of the other popular type sires in the breed today, he does have strong genomic test results for Conformation, and specifically udders. Look for HERO to sire extremely shallow udders that have strong ligaments though he could be protected a little on teat placement. While larger than average, HERO will not sire your big tall show winners with the deep ribs, instead he offers wide rumps that have slightly high pins and average chest width. He really is an udder specialist with average legs and dairy strength.
  • TOC-FARM DUPLEX GLAUCO (Duplex x Allen)
    For those looking for a more well-known pedigree there is TOC-FARM DUPLEX GLAUCO. His dam, TOC-FARM ALLEN AMYLY EX-96-ITA, was All World Cow in 2008. She herself is from the great breeding cow, SUNNYLODGE SKYCHIEF AMY EX-95-2E-GBR 5*. Look for GLAUCO to sire tall deep-bodied cows with wide chests and strong udders. His big boxcar rumps will catch many breeders’ eyes, though you may want to protect him on rump angle a little.

 The Bullvine Bottom Line

Choosing the correct sire can be challenging enough. Finding a sire that also offers an outcross from the main GPS (Goldwyn, Planet, Shottle) sires can be almost impossible. That is why we compiled these 14 sires to bring to light some outcross pedigrees that many breeders may not have heard of. Hope this helps you find your way to your best outcross bull.

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