Ingenity tests

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Oct 31, 2006
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Hi everyone,

I was wondering what you think about the accuracy of these test, do people trust them ? It's important for you guys at the moment of choosing what bull you will use ?? Do you pay atention to them ?

I have done the test to several bulls and obviously there is not a bull that is good in everything, which items are more important for you ? protein ? milk hability? fertility ? SCells ? AA, AE, AB and BB (Kappacasein, etc)

I know that what is necessary for someone is not so much for otherone, but in general, you will choose a 10 in protein with high somatic cells or with low fertility ??

I don't know much (nothing to be honest) about holstein genetics but I want to learn and to use these tools to do better marketing when selling semen.


When we had a dairy we initially bred strictly for milk production. Latter we tried to maintain that production while improving the udder, then started working on feet. Never bred nor fed for protein, somatic cell counts or anything else. Too many outside factors to effect these besides genetics. My experience has been that of the three major components in milk (volume, butterfat and protein) you can usually obtain 2 out of the 3 but very very seldom get all three and milk protein is the hardest and really least significant thing to worry about. Only tried to maintain the standard and get all the production I could with good butterfat.
Everyone is different...

I cross off the bulls I don't want to touch first - lethal recessive genes, high calving difficulty, large stature, poor temperament, poor udder scores, low fertility.
That gets rid of most of them.

From what's left, I'll look at protein first (it's the highest value component of our milk payment) then udders, capacity, farmer opinion (which includes temperament), fertility, low scc and high dairy type. High longevity score is a bonus, but I think by selecting for udders/fertility/low SCC the longevity should follow automatically.
I use about six bulls across the breeds (crossbreeding Holstein-Friesian and Jersey) and try to not have more than one bull in the team with any one weak area such as tipped-up rump angle or poor udder teamed with high production, lower capacity &c - so there's always a choice of bulls to 'correct' a cow with that fault.

We have very different system of reporting traits than the US - which is awkward when buying imported semen and can't interpret the proofs! I don't entirely trust the accuracy of the reported traits, but it's the best information I've got for choosing bulls.
I'm still new to this - the first heifers from bulls I selected will calve next spring (July).
Rego my wife did all the AI breeding and selected the bulls. She had a real knack for it and after developing "cow families" of 3 generations or more you also learn quickly that no matter what the numbers say, certain bulls just don't work with certain cattle and other mediocre bulls mated with certain cattle give outstanding offspring in spite of the numbers.
When I first started AI'ing the first bull I choose was based on temperament he had a temperament score of 94. Nine years on I still have the son of that bull (our senoir herd sire) & a daughter. Now I look for butterfat,Protein, udder height & width, milk, low scc. I have learnt what bloodline(s)work for us & that is what is important.
There are certain NZ & Aussie bulls that I won't use & until something better comes along I will stick to using USA genetics. Having only Jersey's allows me not to have to worry about high bw bulls & calving problems that can be associated with other dairy breeds.
Let me guess... Hugo? Oh wait, you said you were all Jersey.

I've been trying to pre-empt this year's catalogues by searching on-line, and it looks as if unless there's something special not shown on-line I might end up using almost the same team as last year. The more I look, the more I think NZ genetics have big issues. Every year I print off the 3-generation pedigree of the bulls I want to use, every year all the Jersey bulls are either first or second cousins of each other.

Looking at cows, buying cows, looking critically at my own herd - and if I were to go for single-trait selection, it would definitely be udders. I've seen so many shocking udders recently, especially in Holstein-Friesian cows. Best udders and dairy type I looked at were in a pure-bred Ayrshire herd, but with a long breeding history - I don't think you'd get that just by using any AI Ayrshire.
There is a breed called swedish red it is available in south america new zealand and north america america. It is closely related to ayrshire but gives more milk beef and better health! Viking
Swedish Reds are one of the breeds that went into creating our Aussie Red breed & I'm pretty sure they are now using Swedish Reds in the Illawarra breed as well. They are a nice looking breed, would have some if they would only fit in our dairy.
Aha - you've seen them in their home environment.

Can I throw a couple of questions out Anazazi?
What is the average birth weight/average mature weight of the purebred?

I've found a source somewhere recommending the breed for crossing over Holstein that claimed the crossbred was equal in size to the Holstein, but the breeding values, if I'm reading them right, suggest they're just a little larger than an Ayrshire.
I've looked at the breed - Ambreed are marketing them - but won't be using it this coming season. I can't afford to use anything the size of a US Holstein over my average cow (about 450 kg/1000lb mature weight). NZ Friesian at 1300 lb is okay.

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