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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


aAa has been used as a mating system in UK by the old British Holstein Society.

Firstly, any mating programme is better than none at all. A mating programme can turn a 1 point type bull into a 2 point type bull by using it on the right cows. Equally so you can turn a $30 bull into a $10 bull by using it on totally the wrong cow.

aAa is an old system that works. It was developed before progeny testing when all they had to go at was what the bull looked like. I think it helps sort out the skeletal and texture side of things but other than providing a perfect cradle for an udder, I could never see how we could correct udder faults using this system. Maybe someone can enlighten me.
Having said that,from what I have seen, if you use good udder sires and get aAa to mate them - it will breed you good framy cows with a good blend of dairy strength.

Today, things have moved on and there are far more advanced mating programmes available which can take everything into account and no doubt they have become extremely popular with both the commercial and pedigree man, alike. There is now more thought going into more matings on a global scale than ever before. I understand that Select Sires mated over 3 million cows last year using its mating programme. Add in all the others and we should see a rapid improvement in the average cow across the globe.

aAa will still have its followers and why not - it has worked well for them.

Last edited by Bob (Local user), 30/9/2003, 10:14
30/9/2003, 10:00 Link to this post PM via Email
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


Hello everyone,

A late friend of mine used to say that to be successful in cattle breeding you need four things.
knowledge, patience, luck and money,
and then he would say that if you didn't have enough of the first two, you needed more of the last two.
Personally, after breeding cows for 25 years, I have made some conclusions, the cow definitely don't need to be scored exellent to efficiently produce a lot of milk during a long life.
to do that she need a good udder, locomotion, a strong immune system and she need to be fertile.
I think we are shoting our self in the foot by breeding for the pretty cow, thinking that by making her good looking we will automatically solve all the problems.
A massive study in the USA concluded that the registred cow only lasted 3 more months compared to the grades.
In my opinion the pampering of the registered cows should turn up a larger difference than a measly 3 months.
finaly, to answer the question, as a number of people already said, it's a combination of the two but the scale is slowly tipping towards science as long as you know how to use the indexes.
regards Tommy ingemarsson

---
"Dum spiro, spero"

Cicero
2/12/2003, 0:22 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


absaloodle, but she doesn't have to be ugly to last, Lara Croft is a Good Looking, tough chick!

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2/12/2003, 6:44 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


I thought we where talking about the four legged kind here,
breeding for the pretty cow has lead to serious inbreeding with poor fertillity as a result.
Why not learn to appreciate the cow thats hard working, stay healthy and breed back easily, regardless if she's pretty or just plain ?

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2/12/2003, 19:05 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


The Art of using Science?
2/12/2003, 20:03 Link to this post PM via Email
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


quote:

broa wrote:

I thought we where talking about the four legged kind here,
breeding for the pretty cow has lead to serious inbreeding with poor fertillity as a result.
Why not learn to appreciate the cow thats hard working, stay healthy and breed back easily, regardless if she's pretty or just plain ?



We do appreciate those attributes, but the prettier she is the more we appreciate them.

2/12/2003, 21:26 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


quote:

Big Bird wrote:

We do appreciate those attributes, but the prettier she is the more we appreciate them.




Even at the price of poor fertillity, a depleted genetic base and a drastic increase of still borne calves ?
I started using US and Canadian holstein semen 20 years ago.
What used to be 4% still borne per year, has increased and is now over 10%.

I was also chasing that "dream cow" for many years and it even resulted in a senior 2 year old national champion but I have also noticed how these good looking cows continue to be somewhat short of trouble free.
Any cow thats made it past 100 000kg looks like a queen to me




Last edited by broa, 2/12/2003, 22:51


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2/12/2003, 22:45 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


What bulls are you using broa ?

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2/12/2003, 22:55 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


I think you missed the point I was making, broa.

You can have hard working, fertile and healthy cows that are attractive to look at, they don't have to be plain to meet these criteria.

We also started using our first Holstein bulls 20 years ago. I can't say we get any more still born because of this.

Good looking cows tend to get more attention faster when they do have a problem because we do tend to care that bit more for them. I think we call it management.

No argument that a 100 tonne cow is a very worthwhile one, but I would say a VG or EX 100 tonne cow would be more satisfying than a G. Haven't bred one myself because historically our system didn't push for particularly high yields and our cows weren't up to it, but a small number of cows here are working their way up now.

Strangely this is happening with North American style genetics.
2/12/2003, 23:10 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


What difference does it make if the trouble free, hard working cow is pretty or plain ?
by accepting the good cow regardless of what she looks like, we can maintain a broader genetic base and I for one think that will be of great importance for the future.
How many great cows have been culled before their time just because they where plain and the owner wanted to give that pretty one an extra chance instead ?
All of us that have a passion for breeding tend to get emotionally involved with our cows and that has a way of interfering with good judgement, my self included.
I have not always let the performance of the cows speak for it self when I've decided who has to go and who gets to stay, more than once I've shipped a trouble free cow that happen to be plain just so that pretty one could get an extra chace.
You may call it management but I think I was just being stupid.

I'm using Freelance, Titanic, Stormatic, Lancelot, Ramos, O-man, best, Sabre and Merdignac.
Milking 100 cows averaging 10100kg 4.2%f 3.4%p average score 82.5 at 151 centimeters they are borderline too big for our housing.


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3/12/2003, 10:09 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 


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