15 Apr Choosing High EBI bulls for breeding season 2020
With the 2020 breeding season on the horizon, now is a good time to start planning. It is critical that you utilise all the tools at your disposal in order to make the best possible breeding decisions for your herd. Figure 1 below outlines a three-step process to help you get the most from the upcoming breeding season.
- Identify your herd’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Use the sire advice on Herd plus. This helps avoid inbreeding and produces mating’s that will result in calves more evenly balanced on milk and fertility (most suitable bull to each cow)
- If not a member of Herd plus or using the sire advice, only select AI bulls from the top 10% for the traits you need to improve in your herd.
- Use a team of bulls – see the recommended team size below depending on herd size.
- To maximize genetic gain – use teams of young Genomic Sires. Genomic sires are roughly €30 ahead of daughter proven sires.
- Breed replacements from the highest EBI females in the herd. (maiden heifers, first and second calvers)
- Only use bulls classified as LOW RISK for calving difficulty when choosing bulls for heifers.
- Use lower EBI cows for beef AI
- Use the dairy beef index (DBI) to select suitable beef AI sires for your herd.
- If using sexed semen, use high-EBI sires only and use the semen early in the breeding season. Jersey AI should only be used with sexed semen.
|Herd Size:||Team of bulls:|