NTM Unlocked
Milkability & Temperament 

In this post we are talking more about the workability traits in NTM: milkability and temperament. These traits measure how easy it is to milk the cows and how they are to handle. 

Milkability index describes the bull’s daughters’ genetic potential for milking speed (expressed as flow of fat + protein). The higher the breeding value, the faster the milking speed. We also have breeding value for leakage (how easily bull’s daughters leak between milkings). The higher the breeding value, the less the leakage. 

Milkability has a relative weight of 3% for VikingHolstein and VikingRed and 4% for VikingJersey in NTM. Registrations for milkability are collected by farmers and are based on herd owners’ assessment on cows’ milkability compared to other cows in the same herd on scale 1-5. Besides that, information from electronic milk recording from AMS and milking parlours is included, measured as gram of fat + protein per minute (if available this is used instead of the herd owners’ assessment).

Daughter of the bull with EBV 120 would milk 20 grams of fat + protein per minute more than daughters of the bull with EBV 100. For VikingHolstein, that is 4,74 litres milk per minute more than average. A cow with daily yield 30 kg of standard milk is milked for about 15 minutes daily. Daughters of the bull with EBV 120 for Milkability are milked for 1.5 minutes less – 10% improvement. 


Temperament

The index for Temperament describes the bull’s daughters’ genetic potential for temperament. The higher the breeding value, the better the temperament. Temperament has the weight of 1% in NTM. Data is based on herd owners’ assessment on cows’ temperament compared to other cows in the same herd on scale 1-5 (Finland) or 1-9 (Denmark and Sweden).  

Having good-tempered cows makes the farmer’s life easier as the herd is easier to manage and safer for the farmer to work.  Cows with good temperament are easy to milk and move around calmly in the barn. 

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