Saturday, July 16, 2016

FLECKVEIH: Last breed to arrive, best choice for crossbreeding heterosis

From the Dec 2013 Jan 2014 Conceptions Dairy newsletter

Taurus Service, Inc/ Affiliated Sires  now offers four sires from this dynamic and different breed that has become an international success story for their ability to remain productive and healthy no matter what environment, from the tropics to the mountains.    Second in numbers only to Holsteins in their native  Austria, Bavaria/Germany and Switzerland, they offer “vigor” both in heterosis response and gene traits.

Unlike most Euro Red breeds introduced earlier, where there seems to be only one prevalent phenotypic pattern, Fleckveih come in a full range of mating applications:
76FV147 Rotax aAa 513, 76FV647 Hades aAa 462, 76FV845 Rorb aAa 435, 80FV7610 Taurus aAa 432.

Perhaps the most successful example of “dual purpose” selection, where both milk volume from cows and beef yield from steers is competitive with breeds more specialized for milk or beef.    If you are an organic producer seeking a breed that can perform on a high forage, low grain ration, try Fleckveih.
 “So what is the big deal?”     Advertisement in the December 2013 “Cattle Connection”

Stardell Farms, Inc is owned by Hadwen Kleiss and his family.   Mr Kleiss
sold his first “proven” bull to AI in 1958 (Wis Supreme Crusader, Curtiss)
and three decades later (after growing from 35 to 250 cows) he came with
Stardell Valiant Winken and Stardell Chief Adan who were as successful in
the modern “PTA” era—examples of his understanding of the art as well as
the science of selective breeding.

Among Hadwen’s earlier “Cattle Connection” observations were that black
hooves meant more resistance to problems like heel warts, while Holsteins
had bred that out of the breed from color restrictions and linear trait “sharp”
quality preferences.

Now he is observing in his herd the inconsistency in young, higher genetic
Merit cows between their Genomic valuation and their actual performance.
At 80 years of age, Hadwen is no longer concerned with “follow the leader”
and can resist peer pressure to accept every new technology without a first
testing in “real world” conditions—typical of the successful entrepeneur.

Why is this Stardell advertisement relevant to your approach to genetic selection and mating?

Pretty simply, he has demonstrated an ET flush in which the heifer with the lowest Genomic value ends up the best producing and best type young cow while the highest Genomic value heifer proves to not be adaptable to a 250 cow free stall and parlor environment (also raising 2000+ replacement heifers to sell).

So what? You say—except the way in which the AI industry is using Genomics is to only keep the high one, and to reject the rest.     If these three heifers had been AI bulls, the worst performing one goes into AI and the potentially best performing goes to beef, trusting a value imputation that is only 65% Rel.

Much is made of the 40% market acceptance of Genomic sires as if they were “proven” equivalent to the sires who have survived the progeny evaluation screenings.      I would suggest that after five years, 60% of the Holstein and Jersey semen sold is still from progeny evaluated sires.     Genomics is the theoretical state of the art in genetic technology, but dairymen who dislike 40% culling rates continue to ask for “progeny tested” sires.

The entire basis of Genomics is not the DNA—it is the theory of accelerating generations which is dominating the interpretation of the DNA.     We take bulls resulting from mating the “best” bulls to the “best” cows (on a selection index ranking, not on actual realized productivity) and select the bulls and heifers with the “ideal” gene marker possession, we mate them as soon as pubescent, we rush the resulting heifers into IVF and bulls into semen collection, we mate them in turn.    We are now “two generations ahead of the cow population” therefore all must be a “base change” ahead of the progeny tested sires.    We assign TPI or LPI or $NM or JPI numbers accordingly—before anything calved.

In fact, what the realized data has consistently told us is that the highest G value sires are 200 TPI points overestimated on the average.      Thus today’s better “proven” sires are still highly valuable.  

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What to expect on paper when you have extreme longevity performance

From the Dec 2013-Jan 2014 Conceptions Dairy Newsletter

When I was first breeding Holsteins and seeking “Red” color I used an older bull Agro Acres Marquis Ned from Canada, who was pegged a “show type” bull (he had four EX 95 daughters in the USA) and was minus for milk on progeny data, but what intrigued me was this:
His dam had 267,000 pounds lifetime not on test until she was five years old—and—
Her dam had 211,000 pounds lifetime not on test until she was eight years old!!
Not even Lakefield Fobes Delight (311,000 lb) and her dam Minnow Creek Eden Delight (278,000 lb) would have bettered these two by much, and they are the most productive dtr-dam pair ever recorded.

Our “Ned’s” were growthy, average milking heifers, got better as they got older—but what was more remarkable was their ability to produce high lifetime daughters (we bred eight known cows who passed 200,000m lifetime in our first seven years with Holsteins, and over half of them had Ned in the dam’s pedigree—the others had a sire with a 200,000 lb momma).     Thus in our experience, the best way to breed longevity into cows is to use bulls from longevity mommas and don’t expect them to be +2000m.

A couple current examples of easily overlooked sires from exceptional longevity cow lines are:

76HO 590   Wabash Way Thunder       aAa 534162       (+2.07 type, +484m, 1686 TPI, +0.1 DPR)
Sired by “Toystory” (his dam actually got over 150,000 lb lifetime on extended ET lactations)
His “Outside” dam is now 3E 94 with over 200,000 lb, her “Highlight” dam is 5E 96 over 300,000 lb.
This bull’s dam has a rump so wide I only recall Tora Triple Threat Lulu EX 96 as being wider.

6HO 1170   Karona Gold Luster          aAa 612543        (+2.56 type, +611m, 1713 TPI, +0.1 DPR)
Sired by “Goldwyn” (his “Storm” dam is the one Braedale cow to make a creditable lifetime total)
His “Morty” dam is EX 91 over 100,000m, next “Rudolph” dam is EX Can at 125,000m, and she is maternal sister to Idee Lustre EX 95 3E who has 359,879m  5.0% 18099bf 3.5% 12587pr lifetime.
(Members of the “Lustre” cow family can be viewed at Bott’s “Winterfield Farm” near Wheeler, MI)