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NEW CALF MORTALITY INDEX


Producing one live calf per cow every 365 days is every dairy farmer’s fundamental target and is directly related to dairy herd profitability. Failing to achieve this target is seen as inefficient and a drain on profits.

With a current average market value of over £200/calf (Source: Eblex, 19/01/14), beef cross dairy calves are a cash crop for dairy farmers. Understanding and appreciating the value of producing one extra live calf, we have added a Calf Mortality Index to our Genus Beef Calving Survey.

Calf mortality is a trait which has an ethical importance but indeed also an economic importance in the dairy farm.

Our calving survey provides us with data on beef calves produced from the dairy herd. Having collected this data for over 40 years, our portfolio of data we have is significant in size. This is what allows Genus to have selections standards which are high, roughly 90% of sires are rejected because they don’t make the grade for our proven stud.

The new index clearly demonstrates to farmers how they can select for bulls that are proven to produce more live calves 48 hours after birth. Genetics do affect calf mortality and calf mortality is a heritable trait. As like most other health and fitness related traits it’s heritability is low but it should not be ignored because of this. We have introduced this to allow our customers to make more informed decisions.

Also, the common perception that calving difficulty and calf mortality are directly associated may not be entirely accurate. Findings from our calving survey have shown that bulls which are easier calving can also on occasion incur higher calf mortality.

Consequently we will now be providing and publishing calf mortality breed score indexes for all proven Aberdeen Angus and British Blue bulls belonging to the Genus stud. We do have intentions to expand this into other mainstream breeds. The new calf mortality figures will be available to view in our new Beef Sire Directory launching in March, but please speak to your local sales person or contact Genus directly to avail of the new calf mortality figures.

CONTACT OUR SALE REPRESENTATIVE

Sales Representative

Telephone number: 0870 162 2000

Email Address: cs@genusbreeding.co.uk

Please get in touch and we will get your local representative to contact you

SPEAK TO ONE OF OUR SPECIALISTS

Paul Nunn

European Business Development Manager - Products

Office: 0870 900 1270

Email address: cs@genusbreeding.co.uk

SPEAK TO ONE OF OUR SPECIALISTS

Laura Stockton

Products Co-ordinator

Office: 01270 616673

Email address: cs@genusbreeding.co.uk

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