Breeder-owned heifers available for evaluation

31 January 1997

Breeder-owned heifers available for evaluation

UK DAIRY breeders are being offered the chance to evaluate their best heifers in the Genus MOET nucleus herd.

The decision to open the herd, at Bays Leap, Northumberland, was announced at the offices of its Dutch partners, Holland Genetics, in Arnhem last week and the first UK breeder-owned heifer arrived at Genuss MOET herd for evaluation yesterday (Thurs).

MOET operations manager Mark Smith said Genus was keen to work with UK producers who now had some of the best genetics from North America and Europe.

It is providing 50 places a year to evaluate breeder-owned heifers from calving until 14 weeks into lactation. Heifers must meet minimum production standards of 885kg milk, 26kg each of fat and protein and £95 PIN, and score above one on UK-type merit. They must also be EBL-free, and BVD, IBR, and leptospirosis vaccinated.

If selected as a potential bull mother, the heifer will be put on a flushing programme and flushed to sires chosen by Genus. It will contract to buy embryos for its breeding programme at £500 an embryo. It plans to take four embryos from three different flushes and will pay £1000 for any embryo over the 12. &#8226 Genus also plans to set up satellite herds with producers agreeing to use their heifers as recipients for embryos from its nucleus herd.

The initiative will allow Genus to run down its recipient unit at Vallum Farm. "Co-operating farmers will be paid in genetics," says the Mr Smith. Herds must put forward at least 20 maiden heifers suitable as recipients. Health status must be high and embryo transfer performance high – a minimum pregnancy rate of 50% is needed. The higher the pregnancy rate, the more female calves can be retained by producers, says Mr Smith.n

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