Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Moving to Hollola

I’m starting a journey, a new one. It is Saturday morning at 6:50. VikingGenetics bull truck is about to leave the station. This is a business trip I’ve never done before. A day with 750 kilometers to pick up six heifers and one Finn cattle bull. The ”shipment” is a part of the first group where we pick up not only bull calves but also the heifers that are bought and borrowed to Asmo nucleus herd.  Our playground is whole Finland, but today we are driving in the Southern part.

Picking up the heifers and transporting those to the quarantine barn is the last step of the process. Before that the heifers have been genomic tested and they have got a good proof. To be precise, they are one of the best ones from their sire groups. If the farmer has accepted to sell the heifer, the breeding advisor checks her and her dam. If everything is fine also in the veterinarian check, the trip to Hollola can start. 

As a sire analysts we are responsible to find the most interesting heifers to the genomic test. It is also our job to check the results. The best and most interesting heifers will get an offer to produce embryos, either in the nucleus herd or at home. This work is done in early stage, already when we screen through the pregnancies. The farmer will get a letter telling that VikingGenetics is interested in the calf, whether it is bull of a heifer.  

Heifers arrive first to a quarantine barn

I’m getting a bit nervous. We arrive to the first farm and our driver Niko parks the truck close to the barn. Soon I will see a heifer that I have bought. Not to myself but for the VikingGenetics breeding program. The heifer follows Niko directly in to the truck. That went fast. It is nice to have a little chat with the farmer and then it is time to carry on.  We have cameras in the truck so that from the cockpit we are able to check how the heifer is doing. Soon she lies down. Everything is fine.

I had an interesting day and I met nice farmers. This week in total our truck picked up ten bulls and 15 heifers. It took 3780 kilometers. This is a brand new start for the Asmo nucleus herd in Hollola. The first heifers have already had their quarantine period and have moved to their new home in old bull barn. Soon we can start producing not only semen from the bulls, but also embryos from the best heifers.

Writer Katarina Hägg is a sire analyst for VikingJersey and Finn cattle and resposible of Asmo nucleus herd at VikingGenetics in Finland.

1 comment:

  1. You have got the best job in the world ref Jerseys and no doubt they pay you as well