On-line bull selector suits individual needs

HOLSTEIN BREEDERS who believe the top bulls for their herds differ to the top ones ranked on PLI can select according to their individual needs using a free, web-based Bull Selector tool.

A high PLI can easily mask undesirable weaknesses in specific traits, says Holstein UK’s Chris Shepherd. “We can overcome this by screening bulls available for a minimum specification to produce a shortlist from which herds can select sires meeting their own particular needs.

“Breeders can then be safe in the knowledge that any sire selected is unlikely to have a major deficiency in some other aspect of his breeding.”

Using its Bull Selector program, HUK has highlighted 25 valuable all-round improvement bulls from the 600-plus available sires in this week’s MDC Evaluations quarterly ranking of proven sires. Mr Shepherd says 95 sires from the new proof list exceed a reasonable improvement base of 50 PLI, 400kg milk and -0.15% fat. When those positive for the genetic defect CVM are taken out there are 82 sires left.

“And even when minimum criteria of +1 are set for mammary and legs and feet type traits, the shortlist of all-round improvers still extends to 25 sires,” he says. Bull Selector can be found at www.holstein-uk.org