Bull dams in the spotlight 

By Claus Langdahl, Senior Holstein Breeding Manager
To be among the few selected bulls that get to become the sires of the next generation, males need to match many requirements. Even though genomic testing is crucial and highly reliable for a bull to be selected, VikingGenetics always makes a visual examination of a dam before making the final decision to purchase
Most of our purchased bulls are from heifers that may not have calved themselves yet and as such, we will not have had the opportunity to see the phenotypes of the bull dam. But it is important to emphasise that the performance of the bull dam itself is also part of the selection focus.
When we look at the dams of bulls purchased between 1 January 2017 and 1 July 2018 –90 bulls in total – we can see that these bull dams have produced almost 11,000 kg milk with 4.27% fat and 3.62% protein.
Please note that 80% of these dams are 1st calf cows so this is a very high production level.
Table 1. Average production of bull dams
  Milk kg Fat % Protein %
 Dams of VikingHolstein bulls  10,886 4.27 3.62

In comparison, in table 2 we can see the average classification of the bull dams with 83 for frame, 84 for feet and legs and 85 for mammary.
Table 2. Average classification of bull dams
  Frame Feet & legs Mammary
 Dams of VikingHolstein bulls 83 84 85

As mentioned, it takes quite something to be among the selected bulls at VikingGenetics – including that the bull dam performs well in production and conformation.

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