Friday, 30 January 2015

The calves are the motor in VikingGenetics

The bulls calves bought by VikingGenetics are the motor in the breeding work. But how do we find the right calves? 

Each month the Nordic Cattle Genetic Evaluation (NAV) calculate genomic breeding values (GEBV). In the GEBV information from pedigree and the DNA profile of the animal will be combined, and the reliability of GEBV is significantly higher than the pedigree index. GEBV will furthermore give us the opportunity to compare and select the best calf among full siblings. With the information from the DNA profile there will be a significant reranging between individuals with the same parents.

The best calves as regards pedigree will be tested
The decision if the bull calf should be genomically tested, is based on the pedigree index of the calf. The identification of intesting calves is already made when they are fetus so often the cattle breeder will know before the calf is born. The selection is made in groups of sons which means that there may be various demands on the calf’s NTM. In this way we ensure the use of many different sires and maternal grand sires so that inbreeding is kept at an acceptable level.

Exampel from October 2014
In October 2014 VikingGenetics had genomic breeding values for 200 tested VikingRed bull calves and 230 VikingHolstein bull calves. The average pedigree index for NTM was +21.0 for VikingRed and +26.5 for VikingHolstein. The average genomic breeding values were +21.2 and +26.0 respectively. This means that there is no crucial difference between a pedigree index or a genomic index.
From the 200 and 230 tested bull calves we selected 14 VikingRed calves and 13 VikingHolstein calves for purchase. On average the purchased VikingRed bull calves had +31.7 gNTM index which is 10.5 index units higher than all 200 tested bull calves. For VikingHolstein the average of the gNTM of the purchased calves was +37.8 which is 11.8 index units higher that the average of the 230 tested bull calves.

The purchased bull calves give high progress!
For all traits the average of the purchased bull calves is very high – see table 2. Some of the bulls even have all traits above 100, and for both breeds important traits as production index, female fertility, mammary and calvings are all above 110. The purchased bull calves will be AI bulls in one year and therefore will give high genetic progress in your herd.

The DNA profile of the calf will increase the reliability of the breeding values significantly, and only the bull calves with the 6-7% best tests will enter the breeding scheme in VikingGenetics.

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